The Leaflet

| @theleaflet_in | March 25,2019

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta today asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to file an affidavit by March 27, 2019 explaining the reasons why it cannot increase the count of VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Trail Audit) slips and their tally with EVM.  

“We want you to increase the counting of VVPAT slips. Right now, you are counting only one VVPAT in one polling station. On your own, can you increase this number?” the CJI asked the ECI.

On the ECI’s response that it had no reason to believe the existing system was not working, the CJI retorted “No institution, including the judiciary should insulate itself from suggestions”.

The Court was hearing a PIL jointly filed by the leaders of various political parties. In their petition, they have sought directions to the ECI for random verification of at least 50% Electronic Voting Machines using the VVPAT per Assembly Segment/ Assembly Constituency.

 

Also Read: On the EVM Trail: Numerous petitions, One demand

 

They have also sought quashing of the Election Commission guideline which provides that Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail will be conducted only for VVPAT paper slips of one randomly selected polling station of (a) Assembly Constituency in case of election to State Legislative Assembly and (b) each Assembly Segment in case of election to the House of the People.

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is an independent system attached with the Electronic Voting Machines that allows the voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended. When a vote is cast, a slip is printed containing the serial number, name and symbol of the candidate and remains exposed through a transparent window for seven seconds. Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls in the sealed drop box of the VVPAT.

In 2013, on a petition filed by BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy, the Supreme Court had held that a “paper trail” was an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections. EVMs with VVPAT system ensure the accuracy of the voting system.

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Ashok kumar
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Ashok kumar

Every paper trail should be matched in order to insure Tally of machine with physically satisfied voter’s trusted trails. Machine’s can be manhandled in few secondS but trails can’t be manhandled with respect to few hours of time.

Khoty Mathur
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Khoty Mathur

To say they have no reason to believe the current system is not working, is an unsubstantiated opinion. Besides, it goes against the SC’s judgement of 2013 that only a paper trail will result in free and fair elections. And what about the various ‘faulty’ EVM outputs, voting only for the BJP even if the voter voted for another party in 2017? The voter has to have trust in the system, not the EC, nor the BJP. THE OPPOSITION REPRESENTS 65% of voters. And they want 50% VVPAT receipts counted.

Indy
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Indy

Elections, free and fair, are the most sacred aspect of any democracy! There should be no shred of doubt in the entire process – no blemish, no question – that can impact the results of that process. SC will Good to not let ECI brazen their argument through and get away with not doing this basic check!