The Supreme Court Friday asked the Election Commission to explore the possibility of introducing Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in EVMs to maintain a paper record of each vote for upcoming Assembly polls in five states and general election in 2014.
Is it possible for you to introduce VVPAT in November-December Assembly elections? We will wait for 10 days and we are reserving the order, said a Bench of Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi after the EC said VVPAT was successfully used in the Nagaland Assembly elections in February. Senior advocate Ashok Desai,appearing for the EC,said VVPAT could be introduced in a phased manner and that close to Rs 1,500 crore would be required for procuring VVPAT for installing it at all polling booths across the country for the Lok Sabha polls.
The Election Commission has written to the Centre for administrative and financial requirement for VVPAT. We have sought 10,000 machines from each of the two companies. The machines have to be introduced in a phased manner and gradual style to cover one million polling booths, he said. The court was hearing a PIL by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy,seeking directions to the EC to ensure EVMs have a paper trail and issue a receipt to each voter in order to accord credibility to the EVMs. In VVPAT system,when a voter presses the button for a candidate on the EVM,a paper trail containing the serial number,name of the candidate and poll symbol will be printed and the voter can verify it.