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SC notice to EC on plea by 21 oppn parties for paper trail verification

The opposition parties moved the Supreme Court seeking mandatory verification of 50 per cent of votes recorded in the EVMs by paper trail (VVPAT) before announcing the results in the Lok Sabha polls.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2019 11:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lok Sabha eleciton 2019,VVPAT,Supreme Court
Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Election Commission on a petition seeking verification of votes by paper trail in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. (Sunil Saxena/HT Photo)(HT file)

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Election Commission on a petition filed by leaders of 21 political parties seeking paper audit of votes cast through electronic voting machines. The petitioners have sought use of Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) in at least 50 per cent of votes cast through EVMs.

The top court will hear the matter on March 25 again. The petitioners have been given the liberty to serve the poll body through its secretary. The court directed the competent authority to ensure presence of an officer to assist it on the date given.

The opposition parties approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Election Commission for mandatory verification of 50 per cent votes by paper trail (VVPAT) before announcing results in the Lok Sabha polls.

The main petitioner in the case is Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Earlier, leaders from 21 political parties had met the Election Commission last month over the issue of alleged tampering of the EVMs.

The opposition party leaders had demanded that 50 per cent of counting of votes should be done through EVMs and the rest 50 per cent through VVPATs. They also said the results of the two should be cross-checked before declaration a candidate winner from a Lok Sabha seat.

Announcing the poll schedule on March 10, the Election Commission had said that mandatory checking of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be done for one polling station in each Lok Sabha constituency.

The selection of the VVPAT checking with the EVM records will done on the basis of randomly selected polling booth. The VVPAT will be used at all polling stations along with the EVMs in the Lok Sabha polls.

The poll body will use as many as 17.4 lakh VVPAT machines in the conduct of the Lok Sabha and simultaneous assembly elections. The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.

First Published: Mar 15, 2019 11:29 IST