May 29, 2024
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Supreme Court Declines Direct Intervention in Election Commission’s EVM Process

In a recent hearing, the Supreme Court stated that it does not possess the authority to control the Election Commission, responding to petitions demanding an extensive cross-verification of votes cast on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs). Advocates for the petitioner, including Prashant Bhushan representing the Association for Democratic Reforms, argued for the necessity of such verification beyond the current practice of selecting five EVMs at random per assembly constituency. However, the court, presided over by Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, emphasized its inability to act on suspicions alone and reserved its judgment.

During the proceedings, concerns were raised about the potential re-programmability of microcontrollers in the EVM system. The Election Commission reassured that each unit’s microcontrollers are pre-programmed and secure, contrary to the claim that they possess re-programmable flash memory. The court expressed its trust in the technical reports provided by the Election Commission, underscoring that the microcontrollers are designed to be impartial, recognizing only the buttons pressed, not the symbols or parties associated with them.

The case has drawn attention due to ongoing skepticism surrounding the reliability of EVMs. Comparisons with European nations that have reverted to traditional ballot voting were dismissed by the court, pointing out the unique electoral challenges in India. The final judgment has been reserved, with the court remaining firm on its stance that it cannot dictate the operations of the Election Commission based solely on hypothetical concerns.

Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright

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