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Elections 2019: SC asks EC to reply to plea for random checks on 50% EVMs

A file photo of Election Commission building in Delhi (Photo: Mint)Premium
A file photo of Election Commission building in Delhi (Photo: Mint)

  • Supreme Court agrees to hear a plea by opposition parties for random checks on at least half the EVMs using VVPAT in every assembly segment and constituency in Elections 2019
  • Supreme Court seeks response of the Election Commission within two weeks, posts matter for further hearing on 25 March

NEW DELHI : New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea by opposition parties for random checks on at least half the electronic voting machines (EVMs) using voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT) in every assembly segment and constituency in the coming elections.

The move is significant, as the Election Commission has announced the poll schedule a few days ago, setting the stage for the intensification of election campaigns by political parties.

The plea to be heard by the top court has sought the quashing of guidelines that mandate audit trail slips being counted in one polling station for Assembly elections and in each Assembly segment for the Lok Sabha elections.

“The said guideline, therefore, defeats the entire purpose of introducing VVPAT and renders the judgment and directions passed by this court completely otiose," the plea said.

The bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has now sought the response of the Election Commission (EC) within two weeks. The matter has been posted for further hearing on 25 March.

The petition was jointly filed by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, and key parties to the petition include the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Trinamool Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Left parties.

In the past, too, opposition parties have questioned the use of EVMs and demanded a return to ballot paper, a demand the poll panel has ruled out.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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