23 Opposition parties move Supreme court on EVM in Lok Sabha Polls

23 Opposition parties move Supreme court on EVM in Lok Sabha Polls

Courtesy : Agencies17/03/2019 08:28

The Supreme Court will on Friday hear a petition filed by leaders from 21 different political parties, including Andhra Pradesh chief minister (CM) Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, urging the court to direct the Election Commission for random verification of at least 50% of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) in every assembly segment or assembly constituency.

The leaders asked the court to quash the EC’s notification that made paper audit trail checks mandatory in just one polling station in an assembly constituency. A bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will take up petition. Senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi is expected to argue the case for the petitioners.

The leaders quoted the SC’s 1975 verdict in the Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain case to bolster their argument that free and fair elections are part of basic structure of the Constitution. In a 2013 judgment, the SC held that VVPAT is an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections, thereby, argue the petitioners, making the system inherent and intrinsic to the very basic structure.

“The impugned guideline by EC hits at the basic structure of the constitution making VVPAT completely ineffective and merely ornamental in nature. It reduces the safeguards and substantive essence of the judgements of the top court.

The petitioners submit that a procedural or executive instruction in the form of guidelines cannot render the main substantive safeguard nugatory, more so where the latter traces itself back to a constitutional provision,” stated the petition.

VVPAT machines, attached to EVMs, display the name of the candidate and his symbol on a paper after a vote is cast.

The voter can see the paper through a glassed display for six seconds before it drops into a sealed container. While announcing the schedule of this summer’s general elections on Sunday, the EC had announced that VVPATs will be used in all polling stations along with EVMs.

The leaders approached the top court after the poll body refused to accept their representation in February.

The SC had, in January, issued a notice to the EC on a similar petition filed by a former IAS officer MG Devasahayam, ex-diplomat K.P. Fabian and retired banker Thomas Franco Rajendra Dev asking the court to direct the poll body to verify the counts of EVMs and VVPAT units in at least 30% randomly chosen polling stations in each assembly and Lok Sabha constituency.

The EC is awaiting a report from the Indian Statistical Institute on what will be an adequate sample for matching the votes in EVMs with those in VVPATs.

A former EC official said the commission had concerns about increasing the matching to meet the demand of the opposition, since it would cause a delay in the announcement of results.

If you have any comments, please click here

BJP less likely to field Muslim candidates in Rajasthan & MP: Party sources

Breaking News

State polls: BJP may field new faces in 50% seats in MP, C’garh, Rajasthan

Breaking News

Not Vasundhara Raje, rather President Amit Shah will take all the decisions of Rajasthan!

Breaking News

Fearing Defeat from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi to Contest Lok Sabha Elections from Karnataka As Well

Breaking News

Modi Govt Preparing for Partition of Jammu-Kashmir and Making Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territory

Breaking News

Party evaluating everyone's performance, no post is permanent: Modi to BJP CMs

Breaking News

BJP to form govt in jammu and Kashmir soon.

Breaking News

Modi-Shah Duo Preparing to Give a Jolt to Nitish Kumar

Breaking News

Priyanka, not Sonia, may contest next LS poll from Rae Bareli

Breaking News

Day after 3 TMC leaders resigned, Assam Cong leaders sound caution to party over NRC issue

Breaking News

Post a comment
×

Submit Comment