Supreme Court has sought a reply from the Centre and Election Commission for using EVMs with paper trails
The Supreme Court has sought response of the Centre and the chief election commissioner on a plea filed a Gujarat Patidar leader seeking the use of either ballot paper or electronic voting machines with paper trail for the upcoming Assembly election in the state.
A bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices DY Chandrachud and SK Kaul issued notice to the Centre, the CEC, the Gujarat government and the state election commission, and sought their response in four weeks. The top court posted the matter for hearing to the first week of July.
Petitioner Reshma Vithabhai Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which was in the forefront of the Patel quota agitation, claimed that EVMs were not "fully reliable, foolproof, tamper-proof or hacker-proof". The plea was dismissed by the Gujarat High Court on April 12.
The Election Commission should be asked to replace EVMs with ballot paper, or to ensure Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) for every EVM, she had demanded.
The Assembly election in Gujarat is due later this year. The plea by Ms Patel had also alleged that the names of thousands of members of a "particular community" were missing from voter lists in the 2015 municipal corporation polls. It had sought the court's direction to the poll panel to prevent this in future.
She has said that the high court has erred in not appreciating that the Supreme Court had passed its judgement on October 18, 2013, asking ensuring polling through EVMs with paper trail but despite that it has not been implemented by the the ECI and the State Election Commission.
In her plea, it was contended that the high court has erred in not appreciating that there are allegations that at the behest of the ruling party, the names of voters were deleted from voter lists in the last six municipal corporations elections held in 2015.