SC notice to EC on plea by 21 political parties on use of VVVPATs in polls
New Delhi, Mar 15: The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Election on a petition filed by 21 political parties over the use of VVPATs in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The court said that the notices are returnable by March 25.
The petitioners include, Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar, K C Venugopal, Sharad Yadav, Ajit Singh, Akhilesh Yadav among others.
The petitioners are seeking verification of 50 per cent votes by paper trials before the declaration of the results of upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The petitioners have asked the court to quash the order of the EC that made the paper audit trail checks mandatory only in one polling station in an assembly constituency.
They have quoted a 1975 verdict in the Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narain case to further their argument that free and fair elections are part of basic structure of the Constitution.
In 2013, the SC had held that the VVPAST is an indispensable requirement for free and fair elections.
"The impugned guideline by EC hits at the basic structure of the constitution making VVPAT completely ineffective and merely ornamental in nature. It reduces the safeguards and substantive essence of the judgements of the top court.
The petitioners submit that a procedural or executive instruction in the form of guidelines cannot render the main substantive safeguard nugatory, more so where the latter traces itself back to a constitutional provision," the petition stated.