Consider using VVPAT machines in Gujarat polls, SC tells EC

07-07-2017
DH

“If the Election Commission has already got 87,000 EVMs with VVPAT, why can’t it be used in the polls,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked a counsel, appearing for the poll panel.

The counsel submitted that all such machines could not be employed as some suffered technical glitches.

The bench, however, pulled up the counsel for expressing inability to use the machines in the elections.

“The way you are arguing, it seems you don’t want to use them. Everybody has got the right to know where he or she has cast votes. We will ensure that you implement our orders,” the bench said, referring to its 2013 directions, wherein the court had said the use of EVMs with VVPAT was desirable. The court has given the poll panel four weeks to file its response to a petition filed by Reshma Vithalbhai Patel, represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal.

Sibal argued that the commission had sufficient number of machines with VVPAT that could be used in the Gujarat polls, scheduled for later this year. In turn, the court asked the commission how many machines had paper trail and how many it intended to use in the elections. 

The Centre, for its part, contended that it had provided sufficient funds to the commission to purchase EVMs with VVPAT.

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