Lok Sabha Polls 2019: Top Court Issues Notice to EC over plea to verify 50 percent EVM-VVPAT Vote Count

Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Election Commission on the plea of 21 Opposition parties seeking direction that 50 per cent EVM results are matched and crosschecked with VVPATs before the declaration of results in the upcoming General Elections, reported ANI.

Top Court further asked Election Commission to depute a senior officer to assist the court and posted the matter for next hearing on March 25.

21 Opposition Parties on Thursday move to Top Court seeking its directions to the Poll Body the for random verification of VVPAT. Petition filed by Opposition Leaders Including AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal, TDP Boss Chandrababu Naidu, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and Samajwadi Party Leader Akhilesh Yadav stated that the High Court Should direct the poll panel for verification of  at least 50% of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) in every assembly segment or assembly constituency.

The Top Court Bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi up the application on Friday (today).

The Petition filed by the Leaders also sought to dismiss the Poll Body’s notification that made paper audit trail verification mandatory in just one polling station in an assembly constituency. The Opposition Leaders move to the Top Court after the EC declined to accept their representation in February early this year.

The Opposition Leaders in their Petition quoted Supreme Court’s 1975 verdict in the Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narain case and said free and fair elections is a basic fundamental right.

While CEC Sunil Arora had on March 10 while announcing the dates for the General Elections said that VVPAT will be used in upcoming Mega Battle of Ballots. VVPATs, attached to EVMS and Control Units enable the voter to see the name of Candidate and Party to who is vote cast to.

Similarly, in January, The Highest Court while hearing a similar plea directed the Election Commission to verify the counts at least 1/3rd randomly chosen polling stations in every Assembly Constituency.

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