Supreme Court Reserves Verdict on Cross-Verification of EVM Votes with VVPAT

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X: @the_news_21

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas seeking complete cross-verification of votes cast using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The apex court’s decision came after it sought clarifications from the Election Commission (EC) on specific queries related to the functioning of EVMs.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta raised five questions before the EC official regarding the functioning of EVMs, including whether the microcontrollers fitted in them are reprogrammable.

Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Nitesh Kumar Vyas, who had earlier made a presentation to the court on the functioning of EVMs, was summoned by the bench at 2 PM to address the queries.

The bench stated that it needed clarification on certain aspects as there was some confusion over the answers given by the EC to ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQs) about EVMs.

“We have some doubts and need clarification, and that’s why we have listed the matter for directions,” the bench said. “We don’t want to be factually wrong but doubly sure in our findings.”

The pleas before the Supreme Court sought directions for increased VVPAT verification to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. The petitioners argued that a higher degree of cross-verification between EVM votes and VVPAT slips is necessary to enhance transparency and build public confidence in the voting system.

During the hearing, the EC presented its stance on the functioning of EVMs and the existing protocols for VVPAT verification. The court sought specific clarifications from the EC official to address any remaining doubts or confusion.

The Supreme Court’s verdict on the matter is expected to provide clarity on the extent of VVPAT verification required and set guidelines for future elections. The decision holds significance as it will shape the voting process and address concerns raised by various stakeholders regarding the transparency and credibility of the electoral system.

The case has garnered national attention, with political parties and civil society organizations closely following the proceedings. The Supreme Court’s ruling is likely to have far-reaching implications for the conduct of free and fair elections in the world’s largest democracy.

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