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Supreme Court Judgment On EVM-VVPAT Verification

Supreme Court Dismisses Petitions for Complete EVM-VVPAT Verification

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected petitions advocating for comprehensive cross-verification of votes cast via Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta delivered concurring judgments on the matter.

Justice Khanna, while delivering the judgment, announced the dismissal of all petitions, including those proposing a return to ballot papers in elections.

However, the Court permitted the verification of EVM microcontrollers by the manufacturer post-election results upon request from candidates who secured second and third positions. Additionally, the apex court outlined a procedure for such verification, stating that candidates can request microcontroller verification within seven days of election result declaration, subject to payment of fees.

Two directives were issued by the Supreme Court: first, containers holding the symbol loading unit must be sealed in the presence of polling agents and candidates and secured for 45 days. Second, engineers from manufacturing companies shall verify the control unit, ballot unit, and VVPAT following the counting of results upon a written request made within seven days of result declaration.

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