SC notice to EC on plea by 21 oppn parties for paper trail verification

The Supreme Court, today, Friday issued a notice to the Election Commission on a petition filed by the leader of 21 political parties seeking an audit of votes cast through EVMs.The petitioners have sought to use of Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) in at least 50 per cent of votes cast through EVMs.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna listed the plea of the opposition leaders for March 25 and asked the EC to depute an officer to assist the court.

The plea was filed by several opposition leaders, including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and others.

The parties that went to court include – the Congress, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Left parties, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Earlier, during the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had a sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh, the opposition contended that the voting machines were tinkered with. BSP supremo Mayawati had called for a return to paper ballots.

Hence, with the nearing of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the petitioners want more safety norms and strict standards for EVMs. They also want 50 per cent of VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Trail Audit Machines) to be tallied with the voting machines.


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