Updated April 26th, 2024 at 14:35 IST

EVM-VVPAT Case: Supreme Court Tells EC to Maintain Sanctity; Poll Body Responds

The court is hearing petitions seeking cross-verification of votes cast on Electronic Voting Machines with paper slips generated through the VVPAT system.

Reported by: Digital Desk
EVM-VVPAT Case: SC Tells EC to Maintain Sanctity; Poll Body Responds | Image:Representative

New Delhi:  Asking the Election Commission to explain in detail the steps followed to ensure free and fair polls, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that there has to be sanctity in the electoral process.  The bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta said, "This is (an) electoral process. There has to be sanctity. Let nobody have apprehension that something which is expected is not being done." The top court made the observations while hearing a batch of pleas seeking complete cross-verification of votes cast using EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), an independent vote verification system which enables an elector to see whether his vote was cast correctly.  

The Election Commission of India, on the other hand, informed the apex court that allegations of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) showing one extra vote during a mock poll in Kerala's Kasaragod were false. "These news reports are false. We have verified the allegation from the district collector and it appears that they are false. We will submit a detailed report to the court," senior deputy election commissioner Nitesh Kumar Vyas told a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.


The Election Commission emphasized its stringent protocols for EVM usage, stating that all machines undergo mock drills before deployment, with candidates allowed to randomly select 5% for verification. On voting day, this process is repeated. Additionally, the Commission detailed the VVPAT slip testing, highlighting mock polls on polling day where slips are counted and matched. Each machine is equipped with various paper seals, allowing verification during counting by cross-referencing seal numbers.

Vyas was present in the courtroom to apprise the bench about the functioning of EVMs. Earlier during the day, the top court asked senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the Election Commission, to look into the issue after advocate Prashant Bhushan flagged the anomaly.


(With PTI Inputs) 


Published April 18th, 2024 at 15:39 IST