‘ECI Should Use VVPATs To Verify Minimum 50 Per Cent Votes Cast Through EVMs’: Opposition Parties’ Plea In SC

‘ECI Should Use VVPATs To Verify Minimum 50 Per Cent Votes Cast Through EVMs’: Opposition Parties’ Plea In SCImage of a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine with an EVM, or electronic voting machine. (PIB)

The Supreme Court today (Friday, 15 March) sent a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the basis of a plea by the leaders of 21 political parties who seek a minimum 50 per cent of all votes cast through EVMs to be verified through Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) in the upcoming general elections, reports Live Law.

The petition has challenged the existing practice of the ECI to conduct VVPAT verification at only one randomly selected booth per constituency. They argued that under such a system only around 0.44 per cent of votes undergo VVPAT verification.

The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has sought a response from the ECI over the issue by 25 March.

The petitioners have also cited the judgment in the case of Dr Subramanian Swamy vs ECI in which the apex court had noted that VVPAT is an "indispensable requirement of free and fair elections".

They contend that to give meaningful effect to the court’s decision, VVPAT verification should be increased to 50 per cent of all votes.

"A 50% randomised verification in each assembly constituency/assembly segment is a reasonable sample size to both (a) allay the fears of the general public with regard to EVM tampering and; (b) be a statistically significant sample size to ensure that EVMs are working properly," the petition read.