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Ahead of EVM-VVPAT verification case order, SC calls ECI officer to explain queries

The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khana and Dipankar Datta had last week reserved its verdict on a batch of public interest litigations in the matter.

Ahead of EVM-VVPAT verification case order, SC calls ECI officer to explain queries

Apprehending tampering, Congress workers guard EVMs

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a senior Election Commission of India (ECI) official to explain some of its queries regarding EVMs and VVPAT. The officials had been called by the Supreme Court at 2 PM.

The top court is likely to pronounce certain directions on a batch of pleas seeking mandatory cross-verification of the votes cast in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips today.

Before pronouncing the verdict, the court will understand the functions of the micro-controller installed in the EVMs, securing the EVMs and VVPATs. The queries also pertain to the maximum period for which the EVM machines are to be retained after polls.

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The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khana and Dipankar Datta had last week reserved its verdict on a batch of public interest litigations in the matter.

During the previous hearing, the bench observed that official acts are normally presumed to be done validly under the Indian Evidence Act and everything done by the Election Commission cannot be suspected.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had slammed the petitioners for periodically filing PILs on the eve of elections saying that the democratic choice of a voter is being turned into a joke.

The SG added that the issue has already been settled by the apex court with the dismissal of the pleas seeking similar relief in the past.

In April 2019, the Supreme Court ordered the ECI to increase the VVPAT slips from one Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) per Assembly constituency to five.

It had issued guidelines for mandatory verification of VVPAT slips, out of five randomly selected polling stations, after completing the final round of counting votes recorded in EVMs.

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