The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the State Election Commission to not use the controversial eWatch app till February 9. In its orders issued on Friday, the court ordered the usage of the app to be suspended pending security certification from AP Technology Services.
The Court heard the arguments of both sides after three petitions were filed in the AP High Court against the eWatch app that was going to be used by the SEC in the gram panchayat elections citing that the app did not undergo a security audit and clearance by the necessary departments to certify it.
The app is being used for receiving election-related complaints.
State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar had launched ‘eWatch’, an election monitoring digital app which was allegedly created in-house. In the petition it cited that instead of the use of ‘CVIGIL’ app of the Election Commission of India or ‘Nigha’ of the state government how could this app be used.
When the High Court asked the SEC lawyer if the e-watch had a security certificate, he replied that it would be brought in within 5 days. In this context, the High Court has issued orders not to use the app until then. The next hearing was adjourned to the 9th of this month.
On Thursday, the SEC declared void TDP's manifesto, which was released on January 28 by N Chandrababu Naidu citing violation of the order of the election body, barring use of campaign material during the elections.
SEC Ramesh Kumar, acting on a complaint lodged by the ruling YSR Congress general secretary Lella Appi Reddy, said in an order that TDPs manifesto was a clear violation of the Commission's order. issued on October 25, 2018 banning use of campaign material of any kind as the gram panchayat elections are conducted on a non-party basis.