Supreme Court to hear after 2 weeks plea to tally EVM votes with VVPAT : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court to hear after 2 weeks plea to tally EVM votes with VVPAT

Petitioners want 100% cross-verification during Lok Sabha elections

Supreme Court to hear after 2 weeks plea to tally EVM votes with VVPAT

As India heads to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to take up after two weeks a PIL seeking cross-verification of the votes cast in EVMs with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT).



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 3

As India heads to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to take up after two weeks a PIL seeking cross-verification of the votes cast in EVMs with voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT).

Congress calls for ‘timely resolution’

Senior Congress leader and Karnataka minister and Dinesh Gundu Rao has appealed to the Supreme Court for “timely resolution” of the petition before the Lok Sabha elections. “Timely resolution of this matter before the elections is required for this petition to truly carry weight,” said Dinesh Rao.

Checking 5 EVMs is current practice

  • Randomly verifying five EVMs in each Assembly constituency is the current practice
  • The petitioners have sought directions for 100% cross-verification of the votes cast in EVMs with VVPAT slips
  • Say voters should be able to ensure through VVPATs their vote has been ‘recorded’

Despite repeated requests made by senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Gopal Sankaranarayanan and advocate Prashant Bhushan for listing the PIL next week, a Bench led by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said it couldn’t be taken up next Tuesday or Wednesday.

The lawyers submitted on behalf of the Association for Democratic Reforms that the Lok Sabha elections were commencing in the next few days and if the PIL was not heard, it would become infructuous. The seven-phase elections will commence on April 19. The Bench, which also included Justice MM Sundresh and Justice Bela M Trivedi, said it was aware of the situation and would hear the matter in the week after the next week. “The matter may be struck out from the list next week because of the roster now,” Justice Khanna said.

“Mr Bhushan, after all, how much time will this matter take? You can make submissions in two hours and we will finish the matter. Okay,” Justice Khanna said, assuring that the parties would be given sufficient time to make submissions.

On July 17 last year, the top court had asked the Election Commission to respond to the petition by the Association for Democratic Reforms seeking a direction to the Election Commission and the Centre to ensure voters were able to verify through VVPATs that their vote had been “counted as recorded”.

The petitioners have demanded that all VVPATs should be verified, instead of the current practice of randomly verifying five EVMs per Assembly segment. On April 1, a Bench led by Justice BR Gavai had issued notice on another plea seeking 100 per cent verification of VVPAT slips and tagged it with a pending case on the issue.

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