Before SC, EC asserts VVPATs are foolproof

In its response to a petition filed by former Union Minister Kamal Nath, the EC said it was not obligated to conduct elections in the country in the manner desired by the Congress or its leaders.

The Election Commission (EC) has vehemently denied before the Supreme Court that the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in EVMs ever displayed a false tally or manipulated the vote count in any manner.

It maintained that this was physically impossible in the same way that a printer cannot alter the text of the document it is printing.

“Malfunction of an EVM by recording an incorrect vote or of a VVPAT by printing an incorrect vote is a complete conjecture and figment of imagination,” it said in an affidavit.

The poll panel maintained that it remained committed to the 100% deployment of VVPATs at all polling stations for the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram which are due in the later part of 2018, as well as the general elections to the Lok Sabha in 2019.

In its response to a petition filed by former Union Minister Kamal Nath, the EC said it was not obligated to conduct elections in the country in the manner desired by the Congress or its leaders.

It said Kamal Nath and his party cannot seek to instruct or direct the EC to conduct elections (including implementation of VVPAT) in a particular manner.

In its affidavit, the EC said that VVPATs have been successfully used with EVMs in states having diverse climatic conditions such as Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagalnd, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir etc during various general and bye-elections, in “an forceful testament to the robustness and reliability of the design, technical specifications and functional efficiency of the VVPATs in all weather conditions”.

“The ECI-EVMs are not computer controlled, and are completely stand-alone machines, which are not connected to the internet and/or any other network at any point of time. Thus, there is no chance of hacking or access or interaction by any remote device. The ECI-EVMs do not have any radio frequency receiver or decoder for data for wireless or any external hardware port for connection to any other non-EVM accessory or device,” it said.

With regard to the plea by Kamal Nath about bogus voters, the poll panel admitted while updating electoral roll, there was a net deletion of around 24-lakhs entries.

 

Counter affidavit by Election Commission

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Before SC, EC asserts VVPATs are foolproof

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