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Business News/ News / India/  EVM-VVPAT verification case: Supreme Court to pronounce directions on pleas for cross-verification of votes at 2 pm
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EVM-VVPAT verification case: Supreme Court to pronounce directions on pleas for cross-verification of votes at 2 pm

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on requests for full cross-verification of votes through EVMs and VVPAT on Wednesday. The VVPAT is an independent vote verification system that enables electors to see whether their votes have been cast correctly.

Suprme Court may give directions on EVMs and VVPATs case (ANI)Premium
Suprme Court may give directions on EVMs and VVPATs case (ANI)

The Supreme Court of India on April 24 directed a senior official of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to be present in court at 2 pm to explain some of its queries regarding EVMs and VVPATs, Live Law reported. This was ordered by a SC bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Dutta.

The bench posed questions regarding the functions of the microcontroller installed in the EVMs, securing the EVMs and VVPATs, and the maximum period for which the machines are to be retained.

Appearing for the EC, senior advocate Maninder Singh assured the court that the officer would be present at 2 pm. The apex court is now likely to pronounce directions on a clutch of petitions seeking complete cross-verification of votes cast using EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) at 2 pm on Wednesday.

The bench will pronounce directions on the plea in which an order was reserved by it on April 18.

Lok Sabha poll: EC covers 1058 km in to bring EVMs in India's remotest places

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO, is one of the petitioners who have sought a reversal of the Election Commission's 2017 decision to replace the transparent glass on VVPAT machines with an opaque glass through which a voter can see the slip only when the light is on for seven seconds.

'Is there any punishment for EVM tampering': Supreme Court asks ECI

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

In the previous hearing, senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the Election Commission, argued that EVMs were standalone machines and could not be tampered with, but the possibility of human error cannot be ruled out.

What are VVPAT slips & what is the INDIA bloc's demand on this as polls loom?

On April 16, the top court had deprecated criticism of EVMs and calls for reverting to ballot papers, saying the electoral process in India is a "humongous task" and attempts should not be made to "bring down the system".

About VVPAT

The VVPAT is an independent vote verification system that enables electors to see whether their votes have been cast correctly.

Opposition's INDIA bloc has also demanded 100% counting of VVPATs to increase public confidence in Electronic Voting Machines.

‘EVMs will end when...’: Farooq Abdullah urges voters to ‘verify' their ballots

VVPATs were first introduced in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and is basically a ballot-less vote verification system connected with the EVM.

The VVPAT generates a paper slip to be viewed by the voters, allowing them to verify whether the vote was cast correctly on the EVM. The slip contains the name and symbol of the party they have voted for.

The machine also has a transparent window for the voter to see the printed slip. Eventually, the slip goes inside a sealed box of the machine. This can, however, be opened if there is a dispute.

The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections 2024 began on April 19 and the second phase is slated to be held on April 26. Counting of votes is scheduled on June 4.

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 09:23 AM IST
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