Monday, August 23, 2010


Re: Fwd: Fw: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for (additional point)


Save Indian Democracy

 to DrsyquraishiSampathsyq2feedbackJaiBalakrishnan
show details 10:05 AM (6 hours ago)
Dear Mr. Shukla,

Further clarification to my earlier email with regards to involvement of ECI in arrest of Mr. Hari Prasad.

A DEO though a District collector, on matters concerning elections takes instructions from ECI.  We have information that the probe has been initiated and pursued at the instance of the ECI.  Therefore what the DEO has done or has been doing is at the ECI's behest.   ECI can issue directives to DEO to withdraw the FIR.

We request you again not to turn this issue a boiling issue internationally across Academic bodies, Election Watch bodies,  Human Rights Commissions, United Nations, Indian Consular offices,  other Countries particularly where ECIL/BEL are selling EVMs as well as nationally, that will without doubt tarnish the image of the ECI and put the whole Indian democracy into question.    We need to work together to make India a better democracy just as many activists have done in US and several European countries.    

Below are additional points put forth by a Law Professor on this issue.  

Firstly, in fact the EVM supposed have been stolen was made available by a local official for research purposes.

Secondly, the intention behind is not to steal it from the owners of it for appropriation, which is obvious and open to all public and officials. In a crime basic requirement is intention. As there is no stealth lifting of EVM and that can never be transformed into a viable charge. Criminality must be rooted in malice, to fulfill the requirement of mens rea (the guilty mind) in addition to actus reus (forbidden act). 

Thirdly, if EVM is stolen during elections on poling day, it could be considered for obstruction of poll which is an electoral offence. That is not the case here.

Fourthly, a very important factor that is ignored by Maharasthra police is the mandate of the Supreme Court. The petitioners VV Rao and other sought direction of the apex court to ECI and EVM makers to rule out the doubts raised by the petitioners. The petitioners were given an opportunity to demonstrate before election commission the vulnerability of EVMs to fall prey for manipulations, and in turn it was also for the ECI to prove how it could not be manipulated. When the petitioners were implementing the direction of the order of the Supreme Court how can those public interested persons become criminals?

Fifthly, the union cabinet has recently approved the protection of whistle blowers bill to be passed into legislation. This arrest is purposefully made to silence any person from raising any doubt about the frauds sponsored officially through such activities.

Sixthly, Mr. Hari Prasad or Mr. V Venkateswar Rao is not a thief and their social service and they are heading non-governmental organizations propagating better governance and right to information.

Seventhly, the makers of EVM first raised the IPR objections to somehow stop the examination of EVMs for their non-tamperability or vulnerability, saying that they had patent for the product. Even a person with ordinary and common sense will not raise this objection. Patent means laying everything open. The information and specifications about the innovation that is patented must be open and it should be available in public domain. In return to that openness of information, the state on behalf of society guarantees the exclusive economic benefits from the industrial application of that innovated product or tool. Who is stopping the EVM makers from having exclusive economic benefits from these great machines? And if one piece is opened and examined, there is nothing illegal about it and it is perfectly a legal requirement. Any other person can rip any innovative product open, and research to develop something better than that to secure a new patent over it. This is the national and international law. It is absurd that people raise such contentions against a public spirited and perfectly constitutional activity.

Finally, All this shows that the Election Commission of India is hesitating to take the challenge and thus indirectly confirming the suspicions raised by the V V Rao and Hari Prasad. All democratic forces should condemn the arrest and eminent lawyers to help them in getting bail and quashing the charge, and ending this most unreasonable and undemocratic reaction of Government of India along with ECI and Maharastra Police. 

Satya for Save Indian Demcocracy

On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 8:31 AM, Save Indian Democracy <> wrote:
Dear Mr. Shukla,

Thank you for your response on behalf of ECI.   I appreciate your comments and if I in any way cast aspersions on the workings of election commission I would stand corrected.  We are here to partner with you in making India's democracy better.

Given the factors below:

1) That the FIR is lodged by DEO is an official of Election Commission
2) Hari Prasad has been working with ECI for several months now and Hari Prasad intention for hacking was very patent
3) What Hari Prasad has done was also done in other developed democracies without any FIR's lodged in spite of their laws of land in such cases are very similar or perhaps even stricter
4) Hari Prasad has not done anything to manipulate elections and in fact should be commended from distancing himself from such attempts with lure of large sums by unscrupulous politicians
5) That the manifestations of Hariprasad arrest due to FIR lodged by DEO will reverberate in many aspects that will bring down the reputation enjoyed by ECI

I request the ECI to immediately issue directives to DEO to withdraw the FIR and continue to engage in dialogue with Hari and the other activists.  

Satya for Save Indian Democracy

On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM, Dr Alok Shukla <> wrote:
                        Mr. Satya Dosapati

Sub: -               Investigation by Maharashtra Police in the matter of a missing EVM.

Ref: -                Your email dated 21st August 2010 addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner, and your telephone call to Deputy Election Commissioner, Dr. Alok Shukla and Director General, Mr. Akshay Rout.

Dear Mr. Dosapati,

Please refer to your email and telephonic conversation as cited above. 
I am surprised at the allegation made in your letter that Shri Hariprasad has been got arrested by the Election Commission. This allegation is patently false. The arrest made by the police is in the course of an investigation conducted by them on an FIR lodged by DEO Mumbai as early as 12th May 2010 about an EVM stolen from her custody. The Commission cannot interfere in criminal investigation of the police in any manner and the law of the land takes its own course. You would recall that when the issue of the possible arrest of Shri Hariprasad on the FIR of the DEO, Mumbai was raised in the EVT-WOTE Conference at Washington DC on 9th August, 2010, I had made it clear even at that time that once an FIR has been registered, the Commission has no role in the investigation.  You would also recall that I had reiterated this position during the telephonic conversation with you on 21st August 2010, referred to above. Mr. Rout, Director General, had also done the same.

As far as improvements in the voting system are concerned, the Commission has always had an open mind, and has had discussions with several persons on these matters including Mr. Hariprasad. Mr. Hariprasad has met the Commission on several occasions. He came with Mr. V.V.Rao, on 17th August 2009 and again on 3rdSeptember, 2009. The Commission has given Mr. Hariprasad a patient hearing, and has assured him that the Commission will consider his suggestions. At his request, EVMs were allowed to be examined by him, in the Commission Headquarters. Mr. Hariprasad met the Commission once again on 10th August 2010, with his other colleagues. This meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere where the Commission categorically stated that it has an open mind in the matter and looks forward in receiving any suggestions for improving the electoral system. Reciprocating to this Mr.Hariprasad and his colleagues said that that they will come up with some positive suggestions. It was mutually agreed that this dialogue will continue in future, and that Mr. Hariprasad and his colleagues will meet the Commission again with more suggestions on a mutually convenient date.
            In your mail, you have made several other baseless and irresponsible allegations and also cast aspersions on the working of the Election Commission and its officials. These do not merit any response other than dismissal considering the fact that Indian elections are totally free, fair and credible and acknowledged as such worldwide. Your allegations only betray your lack of knowledge of the Indian Constitution under which the Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional body completely insulated from any pressures.

(Alok Shukla)
Deputy Election Commissioner

----- Original Message -----
From: Alok Shukla <>
Date: Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:33 am
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for
To: Dr Alok Shukla   <>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SYQuraishi <>
Date: 21 August 2010 01:07
Subject: Fw: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for

Note: Forwarded message attached

-- Original Message --
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Save Indian Democracy <>
To:, vssampath <>,,
Subject: Mr. Quraishi, arrest of Hari Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs is uncalled for
Dear Mr. Quraishi,

Save Indian Democracy with great efforts brought the best international experts recently to India who worked with Mr. Hari Prasad to expose the vulnerabilities of Indian EVMs.   As you know, the efforts of Mr. Hari Prasad was to educate Indian public and the path taken was only to work around the unrealistic and dishonest restrictions imposed by ECI in demonstrating the vulnerabilities of EVMs.    

In this effort,  Mr. Hari Prasad has nothing other than the best interests of the country.    You should note that the same Mr. Hari Prasad have not entertained a single offer for tampering by politicians as far as North East India with offer of attractive sums.    It will be a matter of shame and travesty of justice for Election Commission of India instead of appreciating the acts of such heroes, your office stoop to intimidating and punishing them.  It is a disgrace that the ECI that is arresting and intimidating the activist who has only best interest of the nation at heart,  has done little about those who are approaching Net India that Mr. Hari leads to tamper them for a price in real elections. 

The act which Mr. Hari Prasad did was also done by activists in US and Europe and they are respected for it.   For e.g, Dr. Alex Halderman who worked with Mr. Hari Prasad in hacking India's EVM has also hacked a EVM used in US elections and he was employed by State of California Secretary of State to expose the vulnerabilities of the EVM's used in California.  If any,  ECI could use services of Mr. Hari Prasad to better serve the nation.

During the Usenix conference Mr. Alok Shukla was told by international community that the way to resolve this is not by use of threats but by amicable discussions held with honesty.  Instead of heeding such advice, you decided to pursue a path that  will only enhance the resolve of international community by many factors to show the tamperability and lack of transparency of Indian EVMs across international conferences/discussions and expose the shameful threats used by Election Commission of India to suppress the truth because of the fear of the exposure.   It will only lead the international community to communicate to Election Watch bodies and Human Rights Commissions that Indian elections are a farce and the use of threats to suppress is the best proof that Election Commission of India has something to hide.  Indian Elections and the venerable Election Commission of India will soon become a laughing stock of the world.

I request you sir, to rethink the path chosen and restore the dignity of highly respected institution you are leading.  We understand bureaucracy in India is under pressures that are not usually patent to those outside,  but by standing up for what is right you will be remembered in history.  There are many in dustbin of history of India that are bringing down a great nation with enormous potential,  but I request you to stand apart and do the right thing.

Satya Dosapati for Save Indian Democracy


Alok Shukla

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