EC to Supreme Court: Political parties who did not take part in EVM challenge should not cry foul

The Election Commission (EC), appearing before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, told political parties who did not take part in 'EVM challenge' to stop crying foul, according to a report in India Today.

The EC also told the court that its 'EVM challenge' did not find any takers among political parties, reported The Hindu

None of the major parties other than the NCP and the CPM took part in the challenge, the EC told the Supreme Court, adding that even the NCP and CPM did not actually challenge the realiability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) reliability but wanted to "understand the process", according to the Hindu report.

EVM demonstration during the "Hackathon". News18

EVM demonstration during the "Hackathon". News18

The EC also told the Supreme Court that it would be able to use EVMs with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.

The poll panel told a bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar that it will be able to conduct the Gujarat Assembly polls in late 2017 using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with paper trail if it gets 73,500 VVPAT machines by September from the manufacturers.

An affidavit filed by the poll panel said: "If the said consignment of VVPATs is delivered on time (September), the Election Commission expects to be able to conduct the elections to the Gujarat legislative Assembly completely with the use of VVPATs."

Currently it has 53,500 VVPAT units, said the poll panel, adding that the number of VVPAT units required for conducting election to the Gujarat legislative Assembly is 70,000 units. The VVPAT machine is connected with EVMs and dispenses a paper proof for the voters so that they can verify that their vote is cast correctly.

Taking note of the submissions of the EC, the court disposed of the plea filed by Gujarat Patidar leader Reshma Vithabhai Patel seeking the use of either ballot paper or EVMs with VVPAT for the Assembly elections.

Patel, also convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti which was at the forefront of the Patel quota agitation, alleged that the EVMs were not reliable, foolproof, tamper-proof or hack-proof.

The EC has maintained that EVMs used for conducting Lok Sabha and Assembly elections "cannot be tampered with".

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Aug 10, 2017 07:53 AM

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