‘Important first step’: Congress on SC notice to Election Commission on counting VVPAT slips

Cong however demanded decision on plea should be taken before poll commences

VVPAT (File) A Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machine

The Congress party welcomed the Supreme Court’s notice to the Election Commission and the Centre on a plea seeking the counting of all VVPAT slips during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The party however said a decision has to be taken before the polls for it to be meaningful.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “The Supreme Court has issued a notice today to the Election Commission on the issue of VVPATs. It bears constant repetition that the Election Commission has refused to meet a delegation of INDIA party leaders who have been demanding 100% VVPATs in order to increase public confidence in EVMs and to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.”

Calling the move an important first step, Ramesh said, “The notice is an important first step, but for it to be meaningful, the matter should be decided before the elections commence.”

The apex court on Monday sought responses from the commission and the central government on the plea seeking a complete count of VVPAT slips in polls as opposed to the current practice of verification of only five randomly selected EVMs through VVPAT paper slips. The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is an independent vote verification system which permits an elector to see whether his vote was cast correctly. The VVPAT generates a paper slip which can be viewed by the voter and the paper slip is kept in a sealed cover and can be opened in case of a dispute.

-with PTI inputs.

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