SC seeks clarification from EC on ‘complete count’ of VVPAT slips

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The Supreme Court’s notice to the Election Commission regarding Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) highlights the importance of ensuring transparency and accountability in the electoral process.

The VVPAT play a crucial role ,which generates a paper slip which can be viewed by the voter and the paper slip is kept in a sealed cover, which can be verified by the voter themselves and can be opened in case of a dispute.

This move suggests that the Supreme Court is keen on addressing any concerns or discrepancies related to the use of VVPATs in elections, ultimately aiming to uphold the integrity of the democratic process.

In a post on X, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The Supreme Court has issued a notice today to the Election Commission on the issue of VVPATs. It bears constant repetition that the Election Commission has refused to meet a delegation of INDIA (bloc) party leaders who have been demanding 100 per cent VVPATs in order to increase public confidence in EVMs and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

The court sought responses from the commission and the central government on the plea seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in polls as opposed to the current practice of verification of only five randomly-selected EVMs through VVPAT paper slips.

The plea said if simultaneous verification is done and more officers are deployed for counting in each assembly constituency, then complete VVPAT verification can be done in a matter of five-six hours.

A bench comprising justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta took note of the submissions of lawyers representing activist Arun Kumar Agrawal seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in elections as opposed to the verification of only five randomly-selected EVMs through VVPAT paper slips.

It issued notices to the Election Commission (EC) and the central government on the plea which may be listed for hearing on May 17.

(With inputs from agencies)

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