Friday, May 24, 2024

SC to pronounce its verdict on pleas seeking mandatory EVM-VVPAT tally tomorrow – N.F Times

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will, on Friday, pronounce its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking mandatory cross-verification of the votes cast in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips.

As per the causelist published on the website of the apex court, a bench, headed by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, will deliver its verdict on the issue on April 26.

The bench, also comprising Justice Dipankar Datta, on Wednesday, called for the presence of an Election Commission of India (ECI) official to clarify certain technical aspects pertaining to the functioning of the EVMs.

Last week, the bench had reserved its verdict on a batch of public interest litigations (PILs) in the matter, observing that official acts are normally presumed to be done validly under the Indian Evidence Act and everything done by the Election Commission cannot be suspected.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the second highest law officer of the Centre, had slammed the petitioners for periodically filing PILs on the eve of elections saying that the democratic choice of a voter is being turned into a joke.

He added that the issue has already been settled by the apex court with the dismissal of the pleas seeking similar relief in the past.

In April 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the ECI to increase the VVPAT slips from one Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) per Assembly constituency to five. It had issued guidelines for mandatory verification of VVPAT slips, out of five randomly selected polling stations, after completing the final round of counting votes recorded in EVMs.

A VVPAT is considered an independent verification system for voting machines, allowing voters to verify whether they have correctly cast their votes.


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