• The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for its response on a plea moved by Opposition leaders seeking counting of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips of 50 per cent of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in each constituency before the 2019 Lok Sabha results are declared.
• The notice was issued by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, who listed the Opposition’s plea to be next heard on March 25, asking the ECI to depute an officer to assist the court. The plea was filed by Opposition leaders from 21 parties, including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
• The Opposition parties have been continuously questioning the authenticity of the EVMs, demanding a recall of ballot system for the Lok Sabha elections in the past.
• The ECI had recently announced the schedule for the 17th Lok Sabha elections which would begin on April 11 and end with the declaration of results on May 23.
• The plea also sought quashing of the EC guidelines, according to which verification will be conducted for VVPAT paper slips of only one randomly selected polling station of an Assembly constituency in case of Assembly polls and each Assembly segment in case of Lok Sabha elections.
• “A 50% randomised verification in each Assembly constituency / Assembly segment is a reasonable sample size to both
• allay the fears of the general public with regard to EVM tampering and;
• Be a statistically significant sample size to ensure that EVMs are working properly,” the plea said.
Mains Paper 2: Polity | Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
Prelims level: Rules for registering a Political Party
Mains level: General Elections