SC asks EC about status of availability of EVMs with VVPAT


New Delhi, July 6: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission to file an affidavit on the factual position on the availability of EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs) and the status of 16,15,000 VVPAT machine for which funds have been sanctioned.

A bench Chief Justice Jagdish Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought response from the Election Commission while hearing a petition by Congress activist Reshma Vithalbhai Patel seeking the use of EVMs with VVPAT during Gujarat assembly election scheduled in December.

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Finding that the counsel for poll panel was not forthcoming on the use of EVMs with VVPAT during assembly election in Gujarat in December, the bench observed: “The way you are arguing it seems that you do not want to do it.

“Everybody should know that everything is fair.”

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that earlier the EC had said that it was not having EVMs with VVPAT but now when Centre has released funds for the purchase of 16,15,000 VVPATs, now the panel is saying that it does not have trained people to man them.

He said that there was sufficient time from now till December for the Election Commission to train people for using the EVMs with VVPAT.

He told the court that EC requires 71,000 EVMs with VVPAT for holding elections in Gujarat while they have 87,000 EVMs with VVPAT.

The counsel for the EC said that some of them have glitches.

The court gave EC four weeks time to file its response.

Advocate Rafiq Lokhandwala is assisting Reshma from Gujarat and had filed the petition on her behalf.