HC refuses to issue directions on Swamy's plea on EVMs

HC refuses to issue directions on Swamy's plea on EVMs

The Delhi High Court today refused to issue directions to the Election Commission on Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy's plea that either paper printouts be incorporated in EVMs or paper ballot be brought back as the electronic machines were "not tamper-proof".

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A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, "It is difficult for this court to direct the Election Commission to have a paper trail of elections conducted through EVMs." The bench, however, suggested that the Commission could hold wider consultations with the executive, political parties and other stake holders on the matter.

"A matter of such magnitude requires a major change in policy decision," the bench said. The bench disposed of the plea, saying Swamy has himself not alleged any misuse or tampering of the current system but maintained that the possibility of such an incident cannot be ruled out.

Swamy had moved the High Court seeking its directions to the Commission that a paper trail be incorporated to record the votes cast through EVMs or the old system of paper ballots brought back. He had claimed that EVMs were not tamper proof and lacked transparency.

European countries like the UK, and the US and Japan had rejected EVMs due to their "failure" and that they had preferred paper ballots for their elections, he had said. The EC had opposed the plea, saying returning to the paper ballots would not be feasible as it would require immense expenditure as there were over 73 crore eligible voters in the country.