The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission on a plea challenging the legal provision mandating six months jail for questioning the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
The court issued the notice on a petition seeking the decriminalisation of the act of filing complaints regarding discrepancies between EVMs and VVPATs.
According to section 49 MA of Code Of Election Rules, if a person files a complaint regarding the discrepancy (voted for a particular party but it went to some other party) regarding the EVM, and, if after investigation this is found to be false or incorrect, then the complainant can be prosecuted under section 177 of IPC for "furnishing false information. This section invites six months in jail or a Rs 1,000 fine or both".
Petitioner Sunil Ahya said before the court that such a clause deters an elector from reporting any discrepancies observed at the time of casting vote.
"Deviant behaviour and lodging a complaint which is an essential ingredient in a continuous exercise for improving the electoral process," said the petitioner.
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