‘There has to be sanctity’: Supreme Court on VVPAT verification | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘There has to be sanctity’: Supreme Court on VVPAT verification

Apr 18, 2024 02:20 PM IST

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan cited a news report about complaints regarding mock poll in Kerala's Kasaragod.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that there is an electoral process and it should have sanctity. The top court made the observations while hearing a plea on petitions seeking 100% EVM-VVPAT verification, legal website Live Law reported.

The Supreme Court pointed to the issues related to going back to using paper ballots for the elections
The Supreme Court pointed to the issues related to going back to using paper ballots for the elections

During the hearing, advocate Nizam Pasha while appearing for the petititoners argued that the voter should be allowed to take the VVPAT slip and deposit in the ballot box. Justice Khanna replied asking whether it will affect voter's privacy.

“Voter's privacy cannot be used to defeat voter's rights,” advocate Pasha was quoted by the website as saying.

Advocate Sanjay Hegde, one of the petitioners argued that between 14 and 18 rounds of counting, all votes are counted electronically and the process is over by 2 pm.

“Counting is immediate. Audit can take time. There should be a separate audit which would then add greater credibility to counting process,” advocate Hegde added.

Another counsel claimed that engineers have an indirect access to the machines and are not accountable to the EC, the website reported.

Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, cited a report from Manorama Online regarding complaints against a mock poll in Kasaragod. According to publication, the agents belonging to Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) claimed that four EVMs registered extra votes in favour of BJP.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the EC's lawyer to ‘check this up’, the LiveLaw report added.

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The Supreme Court observed that this is electoral process and there has to be sanctity to it and let nobody have apprehension that something which is expected is not being done.

The opposition parties have often alleged EVM tampering and called for elections to be conducted using the ballot papers. EVMs were first used in India for a by-election to the Parur assembly seat of the southern state of Kerala in 1982. It was deployed widely in the country from 2000.

(With PTI inputs)

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