Supreme Court wants Centre, Election Commission reply on plea against EVMs | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Supreme Court wants Centre, Election Commission reply on plea against EVMs

The court was hearing petitions filed by the Bahujan Samaj Party that has alleged large-scale tampering of EVMs aided the BJP in its sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh last month

india Updated: Apr 13, 2017 12:59 IST
Bhadra Sinha
EVM tampering
A delegation of Opposition parties, led by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday to seek his intervention in getting EVMs replaced with ballot paper following allegations of tampering in the recent elections.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court asked the central government and the Election Commission on Thursday to respond to petitions asking for paper trails on all electronic voting machines (EVM) amid mounting controversy over the devices that transformed polling in India.

The court was hearing petitions filed by the Bahujan Samaj Party that has alleged large-scale tampering of EVMs aided the BJP in its sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh last month.

“The views of technicians working in this field are important and any of what political parties say,” the court said. “The EVM is a remedy for a lot of ills.”

The row over EVMs was back in the headlines after allegations in Madhya Pradesh’s Ater – where the BJP is fighting the Congress in an assembly byelection — that a device registered votes only for the saffron party during a media demonstration.

The government and the EC has dismissed the charges and the poll panel has even challenged anyone to hack a device, after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said he needed 72 hours to prove EVMs could be tampered with.

EVMs were introduced in India more than a decade ago as a low-cost answer to charges of booth capturing and irregularities in paper ballots. The machines cut down counting time to just a few hours, made logistics easier and more user friendly. But in recent months, concerns have been raised about possible breaches in its software and security mechanism.