SC Upholds Sanctity of EVM Voting, Dismisses Pleas for Full VVPAT Verification

The Asian Age.  | Rakesh K. Singh

India, All India

The bench directed the ECI to apprise it of each and every detail from point A to Z on the EVMs

Supreme Court. (AP)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the arguments criticising sanctity of voting through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using VVPATs and said the electoral process in India is a “humongous task” and attempts should not be made to “bring down the system”. It also recalled how polling booths were captured in the era of ballot papers to manipulate election results.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta was hearing a batch of pleas seeking 100 per cent cross-verification of the votes cast through EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The VVPAT is an independent vote verification system which enables an elector to see whether his vote was cast correctly.

On arguments advanced by Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, that many European countries have reverted to ballot papers after having tried out voting machines, Justice Datta said, “This is a humongous task. No European country can do this. You talked about Germany but what is the population there. My home state West Bengal is far more populous than Germany. We have to repose faith and trust in the electoral process. Don’t try to bring down the system like this.”

Pointing out that there are roughly 98 crore registered voters in India, the bench said, “There will be some mismatch in vote count due to some human errors, but it can be countered and checked”.

While referring to booth capturing in the past, Justice Khanna said, “Bhushan, we are all in our 60s. We have seen what used to happen earlier when there were no EVMs. We don’t need to tell you.”

The bench directed the ECI to apprise it of each and every detail from point A to Z on the EVMs, right from their assembling to storage after the counting of votes.