Supreme Court Reserves Judgment on Petitions Seeking 100% EVM-VVPAT Verification

Supreme Court Grapples with EVM-VVPAT Verification Petitions as Verdict Awaited: Deliberations Highlight Technological Integrity and Voter Trust.

New Delhi, 11 April 2024: The Supreme Court of India continues to deliberate over petitions seeking 100% verification of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) through Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs). The hearing, presided over by a bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, commenced today at 11 AM, witnessing a rigorous exchange between counsels representing both petitioners and the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Advocate Nizam Pasha, representing the petitioners, emphasized the importance of addressing voter rights concerns, stressing the need for VVPAT slips to be deposited in the ballot box by voters themselves. However, concerns were raised by the bench regarding potential privacy infringements.

Another advocate, Prashant Bhushan, suggested solutions such as keeping the light on during the process to ensure transparency without compromising voter privacy. Sr. Adv. Sanjay Hegde underscored the logistical challenges of counting VVPAT slips but proposed a separate audit to enhance credibility.

The Election Commission, represented by Sr. Adv. Maninder Singh, presented detailed insights into the technical aspects of EVM-VVPAT functioning, assuring the Court of the robustness of the electoral process and dismissing allegations of tampering.

Throughout the proceedings, the bench probed various facets of the electoral process, including the calibration of VVPATs, the storage mechanism of machines, and the integrity of the software. The Election Commission reiterated its commitment to transparency and accountability, highlighting the absence of discrepancies in past elections.

The intervenors echoed concerns about maintaining voter trust and advocated for parallel counting of VVPAT slips alongside EVM results to ensure accuracy and transparency.

The Court reserved its judgment after extensive deliberations, acknowledging the significance of the issue and the need to balance technological advancements with safeguarding electoral integrity. The outcome of the petitions seeking comprehensive EVM-VVPAT verification remains eagerly anticipated by stakeholders across the nation.

The Supreme Court’s verdict on this matter is poised to shape the future trajectory of electoral practices in India, underscoring the critical importance of upholding the democratic principles of transparency, accountability, and voter confidence in the electoral process.

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