Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the State Election Commission not to use the newly developed software application called ‘eWatch’ following security concerns and posted the next hearing in the case to February. 17.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Ch. Praveen Kumar held the hearing on Tuesday on a petition filed raising objection on usage of ‘eWatch’ meant to keep check on poll related irregularities, as it was developed by a private agency.
Government pleader C. Suman informed the court that based on a requisition from the SEC, the Andhra Pradesh Technology Services carried out a preliminary test and noticed several security concerns in the app. He further informed the court that a source code belonged to the AP social welfare department was used for developing the app without obtaining the permission from the department for its usage. He said usage of such a source code could lead to a major cyber security threat to the social welfare department itself.
State Election Commissions’ counsel N. Ashwani Kumar said that the SEC was willing to use the cVigil app developed by the Election Commission of India if there was no objection to the state government. He informed the court that the Nigha app developed by the state government was not working properly.
The court inquired whether the state government was having any objection if the SEC intended to use the app developed by it. The government pleader C. Suman replied by saying that the state government might not be having any objection if the SEC wanted to use such an app.
The court observed that the SEC was not supposed to use the eWatch app until it could get the security certificate from the APTS.
In a separate development, the state government informed the High Court that it could be very expensive to repaint the delivery vehicles of essential commodities under the public distribution system if they were to be permitted for door delivery in rural areas in the wake of poll code. The state government challenged the SEC’s order to repaint colours of vehicles as they resemble YSR Congress party colours and influence the voters during gram panchayat polls. The court asked for more details in the case.
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