Supreme Court agrees to take up after two weeks PIL on VVPAT cross-verification of votes cast in EVMs : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court agrees to take up after two weeks PIL on VVPAT cross-verification of votes cast in EVMs

Petitioners have demanded that all VVPATs should be verified, instead of the current practice of randomly verifying five EVMs per Assembly segment

Supreme Court agrees to take up after two weeks PIL on VVPAT cross-verification of votes cast in EVMs

Photo for representational purpose only. PTI file



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).

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 can’t be taken up next Tuesday or Wednesday.

The lawyers submitted on behalf of 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 Lok Sabha polls 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 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 Association for Democratic Reforms' petition 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 petition seeking 100% verification of VVPAT slips and tagged it with the already pending matter on the issue.

 

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