A bench led by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justices R F Nariman and Deepak Gupta asked the lawyer Utsav Bains to file an additional affidavit by Thursday morning after which it will decide if a probe needs to be ordered.
This move comes the day two lawyers’ bodies of the Supreme Court cited “procedural impropriety” in the April 20 sitting and said the “full court of the Supreme Court” should take all “necessary steps” to deal with the charges.
Sitting with Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjiv Khanna, CJI Ranjan Gogoi gave vent to his anguish and hinted at a political angle to the controversy, stating that the charges were being made because he was hearing sensitive cases next week.
The bench, which is hearing pleas by the CPM and Association for Democratic Reforms challenging the scheme, questioned the AG who sought to explain the security aspects of the scheme, and maintained that it would curb black money in the long run.
Underlining the importance of freedom of press, he wrote, “If freedom is enjoyed by the Press without a deep sense of responsibility, it can weaken democracy. In some sections, there appears to be a disturbing trend of bias."
The said documents were published by The Hindu newspaper and later carried by news agency ANI. The Centre has contended that the documents were “sensitive to national security” and their “unauthorised photocopying and leakage” constituted “penal offences under the Indian Penal Code including theft”.
According to Section 61A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, "the design specification of the ECI (Election Commission of India) EVMs used in the election in India is approved by the ECI (based on the advise of the Technical Expert Committee).