EVM-VVPAT issue: Supreme Court to hear pleas for 100% votes verification today | Key points | Latest News India

4 Min Read

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 16, will hear a batch of petitions seeking cross-verification of the votes cast with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The VVPAT is an independent vote verification system which enables an elector to see whether his vote was cast correctly.

The VVPAT generates a paper slip which can be viewed by the voter. It is kept in a sealed cover and can be opened in case of a dispute. (HT File)

The VVPAT generates a paper slip which can be viewed by the voter. It is kept in a sealed cover and can be opened in case of a dispute.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections 2024 will begin on April 19.

Supreme Court to hear EVM-VVPAT plea: Top points

  • A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, which could not take up the pleas related to Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs, said it would consider all petitions in the matter for hearing on Tuesday.
  • On April 3, the Supreme Court had said it would hear the plea filed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) along with other matters, after advocate Prashant Bhushan sought an urgent hearing.
  • On April 1, the apex court had sought responses from the Election Commission of India and the central government on a plea by activist Arun Kumar Agrawal seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in polls as opposed to the current practice of tallying slips from only five randomly selected EVMs from each assembly segment comprising a parliamentary constituency.
  • The Supreme Court said both the petitions will now be taken up for hearing on Tuesday.

What ADR’s plea says

The ADR has sought the Supreme Court direction to the Election Comission and the Centre to ensure the voters are able to verify through VVPATs that their vote has been “counted as recorded”.

The petition has sought to match the count in EVMs with votes that have been verifiably “recorded as cast” and to ensure that the voter can verify through the VVPAT slip that his vote, as recorded on the paper slip, has been “counted as recorded”.

The petition has also said the requirement of the voters verifying that their votes have been “recorded as cast” is somewhat met when the VVPAT slip is displayed for about seven seconds after pressing the button on the EVM through a transparent window.

“However, there is a complete vacuum in law as the ECI has provided no procedure for the voter to verify that her vote has been ‘counted as recorded’ which is an indispensable part of voter verifiability. The failure of the ECI to provide for the same is in the teeth of purport and object of the directions issued by this Court in…Subramanian Swamy versus Election Commission of India (2013 verdict),” the plea said.

In July last year, the Supreme Court asked the Election Commission of India to respond to the ADR’s plea.

Share This Article
Leave a comment