38.6c New Delhi, India, Friday, May 24, 2024
Political NEWS

Supreme Court notice on plea to tally every EVM vote with VVPAT slips

By Shreya Agarwal      02 April, 2024 06:08 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha assembly elections, the Supreme Court has issued notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a plea for tallying of each and every Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) vote with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips and for thorough counting of the slips.

The Supreme Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition submitted in this regard calling for comprehensive VVPAT verification, simultaneous verification and increased number of personnel to speed up the process.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta sought a response from the poll panel and the Union government on a plea filed by lawyer and activist Arun Kumar Agrawal, a resident of Ramnagara in Karnataka, through Advocate Neha Rathi.

The plea echoes concerns regarding discrepancies between EVM and VVPAT counts which have been raised by the Opposition led by the I.N.D.I.A bloc. Inter alia, Agarwal contended that while the government has allocated Rs 5,000 crore for acquiring 24 lakh VVPAT machines, yet only 20,000 VVPAT slips are actually verified.

The petition further challenged the EC's guideline which mandated that VVPAT verification shall be done sequentially, i.e. one after the other, causing undue delay.

It contended that if simultaneous verification is done and more number of officers are deployed for counting in each assembly constituency, then complete VVPAT verification can be done in a matter of 5-6 hours only.

The ECI can easily deploy 150 officers in teams of 3 to count paper slips from 50 VVPAT simultaneously and complete the counting in 5 hours as opposed to sequential (one by one) counting of each VVPAT which, as per ECI’s own submissions, would take 250 hours i.e. almost 11-12 days, it said.

It also asked the Court to issue a direction to make the glass of the VVPAT machine transparent and duration of the light long enough for the voter to see the paper recording his vote cut and drop into the drop box.

VVPATs provide voters with a paper trail to verify their vote alongside EVMs.

Currently, VVPAT verification is done only with respect to votes recorded in 5 randomly selected Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in each assembly segment, as per the Supreme Court's order in 2019.

It is pertinent to note that while the petitioner pointed out concerns raised by experts regarding both VVPATs and EVMs, specifically regarding the claimed 'significant number of discrepancies between the vote counts of EVMs and VVPATs documented in the past', mandatory physical verification of VVPAT slips was conducted on the Supreme Court's orders for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections also.

Back then, only 8 cases of mismatch were recorded across 20,687 polling stations back then. The mismatches were reported from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.

In 2019, the mismatch was estimated at .0004% and the same had had no impact on the final election results in the 8 cases of mismatch.

Legally, as per Rule 56(D)(f)(b) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, in case of a discrepancy between the EVM and VVPAT counts, the latter prevails.



Share this article:

About:

A wanderer, aspiring yogini and writer. Shreya is a lawyer by profession, journalist by passion. A g...Read more

Follow:
FacebookTwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Lok Sabha Election 2024 schedule out: Check dates here Lok Sabha Election 2024 schedule out: Check dates here

The 2024 general election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases that will begin on April 19. Here's all you need to know about the upcoming elections.

SC declines to stay EC's order granting Clock symbol to Ajit Pawar group SC declines to stay EC's order granting Clock symbol to Ajit Pawar group

The Supreme Court declined to stay the EC's order granting the 'Clock' symbol to Ajit Pawar's group, allowing Sharad Pawar's faction to use a new symbol.

“How can people be compelled to vote? Madras HC asks “How can people be compelled to vote? Madras HC asks

“How can people be compelled to vote?”, the Madras HC queried in a plea asking employers in Tamil Nadu to demand proof from employees of having voted on polling day.

Supreme Court notice on plea to tally every EVM vote with VVPAT slips Supreme Court notice on plea to tally every EVM vote with VVPAT slips

Supreme Court issues notice to the Election Commission of India on a plea for tallying every Electronic Voting Machine vote with VVPAT slips.

TRENDING NEWS

no-legal-mandate-for-uploading-of-form-17c-on-website-or-handing-over-to-anyone-other-than-candidate-or-agent-ec-tells-sc
Trending Judiciary
No legal mandate for uploading of Form 17C on website or handing over to anyone other than candidate or agent, EC tells SC

EC tells SC there's no legal mandate to upload Form 17C on websites or provide it to anyone other than candidates or agents, citing risks of misuse and mistrust.

23 May, 2024 11:28 AM
national-security-always-paramount-sc-cancels-bail-of-pfi-members
Trending Judiciary
'National security always paramount,' SC cancels bail of PFI members [Read Judgment]

SC emphasizes national security, cancels bail of eight PFI members, stressing balance between civil liberties and counter-terrorism under UAPA.

23 May, 2024 12:05 PM

TOP STORIES

sc-notice-to-ec-on-plea-by-adr-for-release-of-voters-turnout-data
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to EC on plea by ADR for release of voters turnout data

SC issues notice to EC on ADR plea to release voter turnout data. SC demands EC to disclose vote counts within 48 hours after each phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

18 May, 2024 11:16 AM
recovered-direct-chats-between-kejriwal-and-hawala-operators-on-transfer-of-money-ed-claims-before-sc
Trending Judiciary
Recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on transfer of money, ED claims before SC

ED claims to have recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on money transfer in Delhi liquor policy scam; SC reserves judgement on arrest appeal.

18 May, 2024 11:47 AM
delhi-hc-refuses-jackie-shroff-interim-relief-against-youtuber-unfilteredthugesh-for-alleged-personality-rights-infringement
Trending CelebStreet
Delhi HC refuses Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for using "Thug Life" in video on Shroff

The Delhi High Court has refused Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for alleged personality rights' infringement.

18 May, 2024 05:20 PM
abuse-under-sc-st-act-has-to-be-in-public-view-to-make-out-offence-sc
Trending Judiciary
Abuse under SC/ST Act has to be in public view to make out offence: SC [Read Judgment]

SC rules abuse under SC/ST Act must be in public view. Case involves Olympic Riding and Equestrian Academy, highlighting key requirements for the offence.

18 May, 2024 05:45 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email