SC asks EC to consider representation on VVPAT machines
SC asks EC to consider representation on VVPAT machines

The Supreme Court today directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to consider a representation seeking modification in the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines to enable an elector to cancel his vote if it has wrongly been cast in favour of a candidate.

The VVPAT system was introduced in eight out of the 543 parliamentary constituencies as a pilot project during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.

A plea by an engineer today came up for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra alleging that the machines were not "error free" and there should be a system to stop casting of votes if they went in favour of candidates to whom the electors did not intend to vote.

The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, refused to entertain the plea and directed the petitioner to make a representation before the ECI with his petition that alleged that the VVPAT machines were not error proof.

"Having heard the petitioner appearing in person, we are only inclined to grant liberty to him to submit a representation to the Election Commission of India the sole respondent in respect of prayer (on VVPAT malfunctioning) only. With the aforesaid liberty, the writ petition stands disposed of," the bench said while dealing with the plea filed by Arun Kumar, an engineer by profession.

The petition had sought a direction to the ECI to "modify the VVPAT machines so that there is adequate facility available to stop wrong voting, if the same is detected by the voter in the VVPAT machines." Besides, the petition also sought a direction to the poll panel "to provide for Aadhaar- based entry into the polling stations so as to match the entry of voters in each polling station and the number of voters cast in the said polling station".