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Plea seeking changes in VVPAT nixed

Published : Apr 22, 2019, 3:03 am IST
Updated : Apr 22, 2019, 3:03 am IST

According to the petitioner, the sequence of the machine is not correct.

Bombay High Court
 Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has dismissed a PIL seeking direction for the Election Commission of India to ensure that the current system of ‘Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail’ (VVPAT) connected to EVMs should be changed.

According to the petitioner, the sequence is not correct because after the button on the ballot unit is pressed, the VVPAT first prints the symbol on a paper trail and displays it to the voter and later the vote is transmitted to the control unit. However, as per the court order, the first vote should be transmitted and then it should be printed on the paper trail.

The court dismissed the petition, saying there is no such rule and in technology where there is no human intervention for transmitting data, it hardly matters whether the vote is cast first or printed before it.

The division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar, however, were not convinced with the arguments of the petitioner, Prasthan Yadav,  and observed, “In the era of technology where there is no human intervention for transmitting of data from one unit to another, it hardly matters whether the recording is in the first unit followed by the recording in the second unit or by the second unit first.”

The bench also observed, “The two rules relied upon require secrecy of voting within the polling station to be maintained. The rules require that where the facility of paper trail is available, the elector should be able to view through a transparent window of the printer, kept along with the balloting unit inside the voting compartment, the printed paper slip showing the serial number, name and the symbol of the candidate for whom he has cast his vote before such paper slip gets cut and drops in the drop box of the printer.”

The bench further said, “The rules nowhere stipulate that the vote cast should be first registered at the control unit and then at the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine.”

Tags: bombay high court, vvpat