National

SC wants paper trail in EVMs for fair poll

Even as five States go to the polls, the Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100 per cent transparency in elections.

In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the EVM, a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol would be printed for the voter.

The VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their votes were cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

Second time

This is the second time the Supreme Court is insisting on the implementation of VVPAT in EVMs. In 2013, the apex court, on a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had directed the Election Commission to introduce the paper trail in EVMs in a phased manner for the general elections in 2014.

In its recent order, Justice Gogoi directed the EC “to bring on record the approximate time within which the entire system of the VVPAT can be introduced, subject to grant of sanction and release of funds as and when required.”

The court has listed the petition filed by the Backward and Minority Community Employees Federation for hearing after eight weeks.

Three years ago, a Bench of then Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam and Justice Gogoi had observed that VVPAT in EVMs would ensure “free and fair” polls and help in “sorting out disputes”.

The EC had, at the time, informed the apex court that the VVPAT could be introduced in a phased manner.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:15:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SC-wants-paper-trail-in-EVMs-for-fair-poll/article17009568.ece

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