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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

EVM-VVPAT case highlights: SC observes it cannot control elections, reserves judgment

EVM-VVPAT case highlights: The SC on Wednesday reserved its judgment on the pleas demanding a complete cross-verification of votes cast using EVM-VVPAT.
Polling officials collect VVPATs and other voting materials ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, at Veterinary College distribution centre in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (PTI)
Polling officials collect VVPATs and other voting materials ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, at Veterinary College distribution centre in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (PTI)

EVM-VVPAT case highlights: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on the pleas demanding a complete cross-verification of votes cast using Electronic Voter Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The bench observed that the court “cannot control elections, which are to be conducted by another constitutional authority.”...Read More

Earlier on April 18, the Supreme Court had reserved its directions in the case. The bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, had told the petitioners during the hearing that they (petitioners) must not “suspect the efficacy of EVMs, and appreciate if the Election Commission of India (ECI) does good work.”

The bench also categorically refused to order the use of ballot papers to conduct elections, saying that the electoral process in India is a "humongous task" and attempts should not be made to "bring down the system".

One of the petitioners, an NGO called 'Association for Democratic Reforms' (ADR), had sought reversal of the poll panel's 2017 decision to replace the transparent glass on VVPAT machines with an opaque glass through which a voter can see the slip only when the light is on for seven seconds."

ADR was also among the petitioners in the electoral bonds case.

In the current case, the NGO sought matching the count in EVMs with votes that have been verifiably "recorded as cast" and to ensure the voter is able to verify through VVPAT slip that his vote, as recorded on the paper slip, has been "counted as recorded".

Follow all the updates here:
Apr 24, 2024 2:55 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: SC reserves judgment

The bench reserves judgment after briefing by the Deputy Election Commissioner. It observes that the court “cannot control elections, which are to be conducted by another constitutional authority.”

Apr 24, 2024 2:43 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: This is not a rehearing, says Justice Khanna

This is not a rehearing. We had some queries after going through the FAQs, my brother had some queries, so we just put them across: Justice Khanna

Apr 24, 2024 2:35 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Machines stored for 45 days, says ECI

The EVMs are stored for 45 days. On the 46th day, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), seeking information if any election filed. If yes, then the machines remain stored. After the polling, all three units (BU, CU, VVPAT) are sealed: Election Commission

Apr 24, 2024 2:18 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Bench assembles, being briefed by ECI official

The micro-controllers are one-time programmable. Each of the three units – CU (controlling unit), BU (balloting unit) and VVPAT – have their own micro-controllers, which cannot be accessed physically. The one-time prgramme is burnt into them: Nilesh Vyas, Deputy Election Commissioner 

Apr 24, 2024 2:11 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: What is the current practice to verify results?

The Election Commission randomly verifies the VVPAT slips of EVMs from five polling booths per assembly segment in a parliamentary constituency. This is in terms of a direction passed by the Supreme Court in 2019 which directed the ECI to increase the verification from one polling booth to five polling booths per assembly segment.

Apr 24, 2024 1:36 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Bench to reassemble shortly

The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Dutta will reassemble shortly, at 2pm. Deputy Election Commissioner Nilesh Kumar Vyas will appear before the bench to answer the queries it posed earlier in the day.

Apr 24, 2024 1:11 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Who are petitioners in the case?

The writ petitions have been moved by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Abhay Bhakchand Chhajed, and Arun Kumar Aggarwal.

Each petitioner has stressed that "a few days delay in the declaration of results in a small price to pay for the larger goal of fair and transparent election process."

Apr 24, 2024 12:15 PM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Deputy Election Commissioner Nilesh Vyas to represent ECI

Nilesh Kumar Vyas, Deputy Election Commissioner, will answer the SC bench's queries when it reassembles at 2pm.

Vyas, a 1996-batch bureaucrat from the Madhya Pradesh cadre, was appointed to his current post in May 2021.

Apr 24, 2024 11:43 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Why SC called Election Commission official?

“We don’t want to be wrong but doubly sure in our findings and hence we thought of seeking the clarification,” the bench told Additional Solicitor General (AG) Aishwarya Bhati who was also appearing for the Election Commission.

Apr 24, 2024 11:18 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Bench rises to reassemble at 2pm

The bench rises after senior advocate Maninder Singh, who represented the ECI, assured that an officer from the poll body will be present to respond to the judges' queries.

Apr 24, 2024 11:05 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Source code must never be disclosed, says Justice Khanna

On senior advocate Santhosh Paul's statement that there is a source code for EVM that is not disclosed, Justice Khanna says that the cose “must never be disclosed.”

If the code is disclosed, it will be “misuses,” says Justice Khanna.

Apr 24, 2024 10:51 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: SC bench asks ECI official to appear at 2pm

SC bench seeks following clarifications from poll panel: is the micro-controller installed inside the controlling unit or VVPAT; is the micro-controller one-time programmable; how many Symbol Loading Units are available; and the reason behind the increase of period of data storage (from 30 to 45 days).

Apr 24, 2024 10:30 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: What opposition parties say on EVMs?

The Congress-led opposition INDIA bloc has repeatedly questioned the EVMs, alleging that the machines can be “manipulated” to change results, a charge that the Election Commission has always denied.

The opposition has made repeated representations to ECI on the issue of voting machines.

Apr 24, 2024 9:50 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: When SC stressed on “sanctity” in electoral process

During the hearing, the bench also observed how “there has to be sanctity in the electoral process."

“Let nobody have apprehension that something which is expected is not being done,” it stressed.

 

Apr 24, 2024 9:26 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: What is a VVPAT?

A voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verifiable paper record (VPR) is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballotless voting system. A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

It contains the name of the candidate (for whom vote has been cast) and symbol of the party/individual candidate.

Apr 24, 2024 8:50 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: Why SC turned down return to ballot papers

During the hearing, the bench rejected the demand to return to ballot papers, observing that the electoral process in India is a "humongous task" and attempts should not be made to “bring down the system.”

When one of the petitioners pointed to European nations that have reverted to ballot paper, including Germany, Justice Dutta rejected the comparison saying that Germany's population is less than the population of his home state (West Bengal) alone.

Apr 24, 2024 8:26 AM IST

EVM-VVPAT case Live: SC order likely today

A 2judge-bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, reserved the order on April 18. The hearing was held over two days: April 16 and 18.

The petitioners have sought a complete cross-verification of votes cast using Electronic Voter Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

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