DMK files petition in Madras HC over EVMs ahead of Lok Sabha polls

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By ANI

Published : Apr 2, 2024, 11:00 PM IST

DMK files petition in Madras HC over EVMs ahead of Lok Sabha polls

DMK filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court regarding the electronic voting machines ahead of Lok sabha elections.

Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Tamil Nadu ruling party, DMK, has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court regarding the electronic voting machines.

DMK, in its petition to the Madras High Court, has alleged that in the electronic voting machine, a "printer between the Balloting Unit and the Control Unit, tampers with the integrity of the data that is fed to the Control Unit".

MK Stalin's party stated that such a connection was in direct contravention of the rules laid down in the Representation of People 1951 Act, adding that neither the 1961 Rules allow the printer to be in direct connection with the Control Unit. DMK, in its petition, also mentioned that the procedure in case of a mismatch in Form 17C is not provided or tailed into this scheme.

"It is apprehended that the Election Commission of India is governing this aspect in a vacuum, and there is a lack of transparency regarding the same," the petition read. The petition also stated that "considering the complexities EVM machines possess", such a subject matter should not be entirely left merely to the internal decision-making process of the ECI.

Earlier, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Election Commission of India and Centre on a petition seeking the counting of all Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) paper slips in elections, instead of the verification of only 5 randomly selected (Electronic Voting Machines) EVMs in each assembly segment of a parliamentary constituency.

The petition filed by lawyer and activist Arun Kumar Agrawal further challenged ECI's guideline that mandates that VVPAT verification shall be done sequentially, i.e. one after the other, causing undue delay.

The petition contended, "If simultaneous verification is done and more officers are deployed for counting in each assembly constituency, then complete VVPAT verification can be done in a matter of 5-6 hours."

The petition filed through advocate Neha Rathi further stated that while the government has spent around Rs 5000 crores on the purchase of nearly 24 lakh VVPATs, presently VVPAT slips of only approximately 20,000 VVPATs are verified.

It sought direction that the ECI mandatorily cross-verify the count in EVMs with votes that have been verifiably 'recorded as cast' by the voter through the VVPATs by counting all VVPAT paper slips.

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