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EC files affidavit in SC, next elections with VVPAT

New Delhi : The Election Commission on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that most likely the next elections would be held with the help of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) along with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)s.

The apex court deferred the matter for further hearing on August 10.

The top court was hearing several pleas seeking to include VVPATs along with the EVMs in upcoming elections.

Earlier in May, the Election Commission had clarified that future elections would be conducted using both EVMs and VVPATs.

In lieu of this clarification, the Election Commission had also issued a statement challenging state and central political parties to prove their stance on the EVMs being tampered with.

“The Election Commission has put forth a challenge, which will be open from June 3. Interested participants must register by 5 p.m. on May 26. Either through a combination of key press or communication with the control unit, ballot unit or both via external hardware, participants must be able to prove their allegation of tampering,” asserted Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.

Zaidi while rubbishing the claims of EVM tampering said no credible information was received to strengthen the complaints of tampering.

“Complaints came after elections in the five states, but we did not receive any credible material information on EVM tampering from the complainants. We believe in complete transparency and have no reason to hide anything,” he said.

The Election Commission ‘s new version of EVMs comes with self-diagnostic tamper-detection software which recognises digital signature. Hence, any alleged mishandling would be immediately detected, said Zaidi.

Developing on this, he also revealed that the technology behind these machines is being tested thoroughly in Bengaluru and Hyderabad by eminent technocrats under stringent security procedures, thus dismissing claims of software being imported from abroad.

With regards to Assembly by-polls, the Election Commission clarified that it was not responsible for electoral procedures in the state, adding that these are conducted and governed by the State Election Commission and other such regulatory bodies.

During the recent concluded elections, some of the political parties questioned the transparency of EVMs. (ANI)