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SC Notice To Election Commission on VVPAT Plea, Congress Says ‘Important First Step’ – News18


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It had said no idols existed in the cellar and hence, there was no question of prayers being offered there till 1993.
(File photo)

According to a report by Bar and Bench, the petitioner has appealed for every vote from each EVM to be matched against VVPAT slips

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a plea seeking a thorough count of Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips during elections.

A bench comprising Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta requested a response from both the election panel and the Union government regarding a plea filed by lawyer and activist Arun Kumar Agrawal. Agrawal, a resident of Ramnagara in Karnataka, filed the plea through advocate Neha Rathi.

According to a report by Bar and Bench, the petitioner has appealed for every vote from each EVM to be matched against VVPAT slips.

Additionally, the petitioner has asked for voters to be allowed to physically deposit the slips produced by the VVPAT into a ballot box to confirm that their ballot has been “counted as recorded”.

Currently, VVPAT verification is conducted only for votes cast in 5 randomly selected Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in each assembly segment.

The plea further argued that conducting simultaneous verification and adding more officers for counting in each voting area would enable complete VVPAT verification to be done within 5-6 hours.

“The petitioner is further seeking to quash and set aside of Guideline No. 14.7(h) of the Manual on Electronic Voting Machine and VVPAT dated August, 2023 as framed and issued by Election Commission of India in so far as it allows only sequential verification of VVPAT slips resulting in undue delay in counting of all VVPAT slips,” the plea stated.

Praising the top court’s notice to the poll panel as an ‘important first step’, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh stressed the need for a decision on the matter before the Lok Sabha elections begin.

“It bears constant repetition that the Election Commission has refused to meet a delegation of INDIA party leaders who have been demanding 100% VVPATs in order to increase public confidence in EVMs and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. The notice is an important first step, but for it to be meaningful, the matter should be decided before the elections commence,” Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X.





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