SC notice Election Commission, Centre on Swamy’s plea on EVMs

The Supreme Court today sought the stands of the Centre and the Election Commission of India on Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s plea to incorporate either paper printouts with EVMs or restore paper balloting as the electronic machines are “not tamper-proof.”
Issuing notices to the Centre and the poll panel, a bench of justices P Sathavisam and J Chelameswar sought their replies on Swamy’s plea, which challenged the Delhi High Court’s order dismissing his petition on the issue earlier.
Swamy also submitted a list of several western and European countries where similar methods for printouts for EVMs are being used during elections in those countries.
The Delhi High Court had on January 17 refused to issue directions to the Election Commission on Swamy’s plea.
The high court had said, “It is difficult for this court to direct the Election Commission to have a paper trail of elections conducted through EVMs.”
The bench, however, had suggested that the Commission could hold wider consultations with the executive, the political parties and other stake holders on the matter.
The high court had disposed of the plea, saying Swamy has himself not alleged any misuse or tampering of current system but maintained that the possibility of such an incident cannot be ruled out.
Swamy had sought directions to the Election Commission that paper trail be incorporated to record the votes cast through EVMs or old system of paper ballots be brought back. He had claimed that EVMs were not tamper proof and lacked transparency.
European countries like the UK and the US and Japan had rejected EVMs due to their “failure” and that they had preferred paper ballots for their elections, he had said.
The EC had opposed the plea, saying returning to the paper ballots would not be feasible as it would require immense expenditure as there were over 73 crore eligible voters in the country. (PTI)


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