Elections

Lok Sabha Polls: EC, Centre Get SC Notice Seeking Responses On Complete Count Of VVPAT Slips | Details

The Supreme Court issued notices to the Election Commission and the central government on the plea which may be listed for hearing on May 17. The plea was filed by activist Arun Kumar Agrawal seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in elections.

Advertisement

PIB
EVM and VVPAT Machine | Photo: PIB
info_icon

Seeking responses on a plea over a complete count of VVPAT slips in polls the, the Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Election Commission (EC) and the Centre. The plea opposes the current practice of verification of only five randomly selected EVMs through VVPAT paper slips.

The apex court issued notices to the poll body and the central government on the plea which may be listed for hearing on May 17.

What is a VVPAT?

The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is defined as an independent vote verification system that permits an elector to see whether his vote was cast correctly.

Advertisement

Through this system, a paper slip is generated which can be viewed by the voter. The paper slip is kept in a sealed cover and can be opened in case of a dispute.

Earlier on April 8, 2019, the apex court had ordered the Election Commission to increase the number of EVMs that undergo VVPAT physical verification from one to five per assembly segment in a parliamentary constituency.

About activist Arun Kumar Agrawal's plea

It has been reported that a bench comprising justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta took note of the submissions of lawyers representing activist Arun Kumar Agrawal seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in elections.

Advertisement

Senior lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan and advocate Neha Rathi appeared for Agrawal.

The plea assailed the EC's guideline that mandates that VVPAT verification shall be done sequentially, one after the other.

The plea said if simultaneous verification is done and more officers are deployed for counting in each assembly constituency, then complete VVPAT verification can be done in a matter of five-six hours.

The government has spent nearly Rs 5,000 crore on purchase of nearly 24 lakh VVPATs but presently, VVPAT slips of only approximately 20,000 VVPATs are verified, it said.

Why is the counting of VVPAT slips required?

Considering many questions being raised by experts with regard to VVPATs and EVMs and the fact that a large number of discrepancies between EVM and VVPAT vote count have been reported in the past, it is imperative that all VVPAT slips are counted and a voter is given an opportunity to properly verify that his vote as cast in the ballot is also counted by allowing him to physically drop his/her VVPAT slip in the ballot box.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement