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Friday, January 15, 2021

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking to stop use of EVMs

During the brief hearing, the court got irked when it was argued that the right to vote was a fundamental right and the continuous use of EVMs in polls by the Election Commission infringes this right.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: January 6, 2021 8:55:49 pm
"EVM hacking is a threat that has been given not only in India but in many other countries, which is why several of them have banned it," the lawyer claimed in his plea. (PTI photo)

The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the poll panel to stop using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections by asking that the high court should be approached first.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was hearing the plea which said that voting through ballot papers was a more “reliable and transparent” method for the electoral process.

During the brief hearing, the court got irked when it was argued that the right to vote was a fundamental right and the continuous use of EVMs in polls by the Election Commission infringes this right.

“From where you get this that voting right is a fundamental right,” the bench said and asked the lawyer to withdraw the PIL.

“After some arguments, the petitioner prays for withdrawal of this petition with liberty to approach the appropriate High Court. Prayer is allowed. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid,” ordered the bench, which also comprised justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The plea filed by Kanyakumari-based advocate C R Jaya Sukin, had said that several developed countries like the US, Japan, Germany, and others have rejected EVMs during elections, and have chosen the ballot system of voting and this should indicate that EVMs are not satisfactory instruments to be used for the electoral process of a country.

EVMs can be hacked. But the ballot system is extremely safe, it had said.

“EVM hacking is a threat that has been given not only in India but in many other countries, which is why several of them have banned it. EVMs, like all other machines, are prone to errors and malfunctioning. No machine ever made anywhere in the world is infallible,” the lawyer had claimed.

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