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'No Machine Infallible': Plea In SC Seeks To Replace EVM's With Ballot Paper In Forthcoming Elections

Sanya Talwar
25 Nov 2020 2:23 PM GMT
No Machine Infallible: Plea In SC Seeks To Replace EVMs With Ballot Paper In Forthcoming Elections
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A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to stop using electronic voting machine (EVM) and use ballot paper instead for the forthcoming polls.The plea has averred that EVMs are more prone to error and several other countries have banned its use as doubts have been raised on its transparency & accuracy."That to save democracy, we must...

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to stop using electronic voting machine (EVM) and use ballot paper instead for the forthcoming polls.

The plea has averred that EVMs are more prone to error and several other countries have banned its use as doubts have been raised on its transparency & accuracy.

"That to save democracy, we must introduce the ballot paper system back in the electoral process in the country. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have replaced the old ballot paper system in India, although many countries of the world; including England, France, Germany, Netherlands, and the United States have banned the use of EVMs," the plea reads.

Filed on behalf of advocate C R Jaya Sukin, the plea states that electronic voting machines must be replaced across India with traditional ballot papers. "Voting through ballot papers is a more reliable and transparent method for the electoral process of any country," the petitioner states.

It is contended that EVM's can be "tampered during its manufacturing" and that they do not even require any hacker or malware to manipulate the actual voting process.

It is averred that "no machine anywhere in the world is infallible" and that EVM's have many threats. These, the petitioner states include:

"1. EVMs can easily be hacked.

2. The complete profile of a voter can be accessed through EVMs.

3. EVMs can be used to manage the results of an election.

4. The EVMs can easily be tampered by an election official.

5. Even the election software of an EVM can be changed."

In this background, it is stated that, if the computers in the Prime Minister's office and the personal computer of no less than the national security adviser, M.K. Narayanan have been hacked, isn't it ludicrous to assume that electronic voting machines locked up in storerooms in districts and remote rural locations would remain secure and not fall prey to the miscreants?

Questions have been raised over EVMs in the past and Election Commission has maintained that EVMs are safe and tamper proof.

It is contended that Indian EVMs can be hacked both before and after elections to alter election results. Apart from manipulating the EVM software and replacing many hardware parts discussed above, discussions with knowledgeable sources revealed that Indian EVMs can be hacked in many ways.

Apropos this the plea seeks Issuance of a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate Writ or Order or Direction or any suggestion or observation or particularly the nature of Writ, by giving direction to the Respondents No.1 (ECI) to stop the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and use ballot paper in any forthcoming elections.


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