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EVM-VVPAT case: Supreme Court's 4 questions to EC, calls official at 2pm to explain queries

"We just wanted a few clarifications, factually we should be on the page. The microcontroller is installed in the controlling unit or the VVPAT? Please call the officer at 2 pm," the top court said.



EVM VVPAT case Supreme Court seeks clarification, calls EC official at 2pm to explain queries gcw
First Published Apr 24, 2024, 11:32 AM IST

A number of "technical questions" were raised by the Supreme Court on Wednesday during its hearing of a number of petitions asking for instructions on how to tally voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with votes cast using electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the election. The court requested that an Election Commission officer appear in person at 2:00 pm to address the concerns.

The matter was being heard by a bench comprising of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipnkar Datta after the top court reserved an order on April 18.

During the hearing, Justice Khanna made the following request for clarification:

1. "“We just wanted 3-4 clarifications. Is the micro-controller installed in the controlling unit or in the VVPAT? There seems to be an indication, that we were under the impression that the micro-controller is in the Control Unit. We were told that VVPAT has a flash memory.”

2. "We would also like to know if the installed microcontroller can be programmed once," Justice Khanna said.

3. “Third thing is, there was a reference to Symbol Loading Units, how many of them are available?”

4. Another thing that the apex court demanded clarification was on whether only the Control Unit is sealed or the VVPAT is kept separately.

On April 16, the top court had deprecated criticism of EVMs and calls for reverting to ballot papers, saying the electoral process in India is a “humongous task” and attempts should not be made to “bring down the system”. The second phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections is scheduled for April 26. The polling started on April 19.

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