38.6c New Delhi, India, Thursday, April 18, 2024
Political NEWS

Supreme Court notice on plea to tally every EVM vote with VVPAT slips

By Shreya Agarwal      02 April, 2024 06:08 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha assembly elections, the Supreme Court has issued notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a plea for tallying of each and every Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) vote with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips and for thorough counting of the slips.

The Supreme Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition submitted in this regard calling for comprehensive VVPAT verification, simultaneous verification and increased number of personnel to speed up the process.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta sought a response from the poll panel and the Union government on a plea filed by lawyer and activist Arun Kumar Agrawal, a resident of Ramnagara in Karnataka, through Advocate Neha Rathi.

The plea echoes concerns regarding discrepancies between EVM and VVPAT counts which have been raised by the Opposition led by the I.N.D.I.A bloc. Inter alia, Agarwal contended that while the government has allocated Rs 5,000 crore for acquiring 24 lakh VVPAT machines, yet only 20,000 VVPAT slips are actually verified.

The petition further challenged the EC's guideline which mandated that VVPAT verification shall be done sequentially, i.e. one after the other, causing undue delay.

It contended that if simultaneous verification is done and more number of officers are deployed for counting in each assembly constituency, then complete VVPAT verification can be done in a matter of 5-6 hours only.

The ECI can easily deploy 150 officers in teams of 3 to count paper slips from 50 VVPAT simultaneously and complete the counting in 5 hours as opposed to sequential (one by one) counting of each VVPAT which, as per ECI’s own submissions, would take 250 hours i.e. almost 11-12 days, it said.

It also asked the Court to issue a direction to make the glass of the VVPAT machine transparent and duration of the light long enough for the voter to see the paper recording his vote cut and drop into the drop box.

VVPATs provide voters with a paper trail to verify their vote alongside EVMs.

Currently, VVPAT verification is done only with respect to votes recorded in 5 randomly selected Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in each assembly segment, as per the Supreme Court's order in 2019.

It is pertinent to note that while the petitioner pointed out concerns raised by experts regarding both VVPATs and EVMs, specifically regarding the claimed 'significant number of discrepancies between the vote counts of EVMs and VVPATs documented in the past', mandatory physical verification of VVPAT slips was conducted on the Supreme Court's orders for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections also.

Back then, only 8 cases of mismatch were recorded across 20,687 polling stations back then. The mismatches were reported from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Andhra Pradesh.

In 2019, the mismatch was estimated at .0004% and the same had had no impact on the final election results in the 8 cases of mismatch.

Legally, as per Rule 56(D)(f)(b) of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, in case of a discrepancy between the EVM and VVPAT counts, the latter prevails.

Share this article:


A wanderer, aspiring yogini and writer. Shreya is a lawyer by profession, journalist by passion. A g...Read more

Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Lok Sabha Election 2024 schedule out: Check dates here Lok Sabha Election 2024 schedule out: Check dates here

The 2024 general election for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases that will begin on April 19. Here's all you need to know about the upcoming elections.

SC declines to stay EC's order granting Clock symbol to Ajit Pawar group SC declines to stay EC's order granting Clock symbol to Ajit Pawar group

The Supreme Court declined to stay the EC's order granting the 'Clock' symbol to Ajit Pawar's group, allowing Sharad Pawar's faction to use a new symbol.

“How can people be compelled to vote? Madras HC asks “How can people be compelled to vote? Madras HC asks

“How can people be compelled to vote?”, the Madras HC queried in a plea asking employers in Tamil Nadu to demand proof from employees of having voted on polling day.

Supreme Court notice on plea to tally every EVM vote with VVPAT slips Supreme Court notice on plea to tally every EVM vote with VVPAT slips

Supreme Court issues notice to the Election Commission of India on a plea for tallying every Electronic Voting Machine vote with VVPAT slips.


Trending Judiciary
Burden to prove dishonest damage to electric meter is for electricity theft, is on the prosecution: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

Delhi High Court has held that the burden to prove that a person has ‘dishonestly’ damaged an electric meter to commit electricity theft is on the prosecution.

17 April, 2024 05:41 PM


Trending Legal Insiders
Two-day conference on April 13-14 on Technology and Dialogue between SC and Singapore

Explore AI's role in law at the India-Singapore Supreme Court conference on technology, enhancing judicial processes and access to justice, April 13-14, 2024.

12 April, 2024 06:16 PM
Trending Interview
LSJ Exclusive Interview: How BJP govt will free Chhattisgarh from “Naxal menace”? [Watch Video]

What is Chhattisgarh govt's plan for solving the Maoist/Naxalite problem in the state? Will there be a surgical strike against the Naxals or solution will be found via diplomatic channels? Read the Exclusive Interview with the Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sharma.

13 April, 2024 12:33 PM
Trending Judiciary
SC rejects review of order to pay Rs 1.54 Cr compensation to ex Air Force staff for transfusion of HIV infected blood [Read Order]

SC denies review of Rs 1.54 Cr HIV compensation order to ex-Air Force staff for medical negligence.

13 April, 2024 03:13 PM
Trending Legal Insiders
CJI cautions against overlooking ethical legal consideration on use of AI in court adjudication

CJI D Y Chandrachud warns about ethical, legal challenges in AI use in courts, stressing need for thorough review.

13 April, 2024 07:08 PM


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email