21 Opposition parties move SC on VVPATs; hearing today

NEW DELHI, MAR 14 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/14/2019 11:42:30 AM IST

Supreme Court on Friday will hear a petition moved by 21 Opposition parties, asking it to pass a directive that electronic voting machines be made tamper-proof. The court will hear the petitions on Friday. The parties want mandatory verification of 50% votes by paper trail before announcement of results in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had declared in an opposition meet in February that the parties will move SC against use of EVMs. Naidu is the lead petitioner in this case.

Apart from Naidu’s TDP, the parties that have approached the apex court include the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party, CPI (Marxist), CPI, Derek O’Brien for the Trinamool Congress, Farooq Abdullah for the National Conference, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). The decision to approach SC was taken in the meeting at Sharad Pawar’s residence.

In a meeting with the Election Commission in February, Opposition parties had raised doubts about the credibility of electronic voting machines, though the EC has repeatedly denied allegations that the machines can be tampered with.

Dismissing the apprehensions, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that the country would not revert to using ballot papers for elections.

Announcing the Lok Sabha election schedule on Sunday, the EC had said that mandatory checking of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be done for one polling station in each Lok Sabha constituency.


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