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Supreme Court Reserves Judgment In EVM-VVPAT Case, Urges ECI To Uphold 'Sanctity' Of Electoral Process

Supreme Court of India has urged the ECI to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process during the hearing of the EVM-VVPAT cross-verification case.

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Supreme Court Urges ECI To Uphold 'Sanctity' Of Electoral Process Photo: File Pic
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The Supreme Court of India (SC) has reserved its judgement regarding the EVM-VVPAT case. Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta have reserved the verdict on the batch of petitions seeking 100 percent verification of the EVM data with VVPAT slips.

The hearing on Wednesday was continued on Thursday, during which the top court urged the Election Commission of India to "uphold the sanctity of the electoral process".

A bench comprising of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta called on the ECI to ensure the polls are conducted in a free and fair manner.

"This is (an) electoral process. There has to be sanctity. Let nobody have apprehension that something which is expected is not being done," stated the top court.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing petitions which seek cross-verification of the votes cast on the Electronic Voting Machines with the paper ballot VVPAT system.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court also urged the poll body to look into the allegations made by Advocate Prashant Bhushan that an additional vote for the BJP was recorded by four EVM machines during a mock poll in Kerala.

A VVPAT - Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail - system allowed voters to verify and check if their vote has been cast correctly and counted towards the candidate they want to support. This machine produces a paper slip which is stored in a ballot box and can be accessed in case of any disputes.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had stated the drawbacks of suing ballot papers during the polling process. The top court noted that "when does hand counting, there will be different numbers".

Appearing for the petitioners, Advocate Prashant Bhushan stated that the light of the VVPAT machine should remain on at all times. Currently, the light of the machine stays on for seven seconds, when the paper slip is generated.

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