SC to hear Opposition plea seeking matching of half EVM results with VVPAT

SC to hear Opposition plea seeking matching of half EVM results with VVPAT

New Delhi: Resuming after its Holi break, the Supreme Court will on Monday hear several matters pending before it including a plea filed by 21 opposition leaders seeking random count of VVPAT slips of at least 50 per cent EVMs in each constituency before declaration the Lok Sabha election results.

On March 15, the top court had sought response of the Election Commission on the plea led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu for a check of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna had listed the petition for March 25 and asked the EC to depute an officer to assist the court.

Other matters listed before the apex court include two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) seeking an independent review of the software used in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), VVPAT units and for EVM tracking.

The PILs filed by activists Sunil Ahya and Ramesh Bellamkonda have suggested changes in the source code of EVMs to make them tamper proof to prevent a “pre-determined outcome” during elections.

A plea seeking a direction from the court to the poll panel to ban roadshows and bike rallies during elections would also come up for hearing today. The plea has claimed that such events violate the Commission’s instructions and cause damage to the environment.

The plea, filed by former Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Vikram Singh and environmentalist Shaivika Agrawal, has said that roadshows and bike rallies during election period cause air and noise pollution and also result in traffic jams which cause inconvenience to the general public.

Among the other matters listed is a petition seeking a direction to CBI to place before the court or jurisdictional magistrate the status report of the investigation carried out by the agency into alleged disproportionate assets of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav.

The petition filed by Vishwanath Chaturvedi, an advocate, has said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has “utterly failed” to intimate either the apex court or report to the jurisdictional magistrate in respect of the investigation done and the status of the probe.

The top court will also hear pleas filed by AMMK leaders TTV Dhinakaran and VK Sasikala challenging the order of the Delhi High Court granting the ”two leaves” symbol to AIADMK’s faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami.

The court is also scheduled to hear a petition by former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar seeking bail in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which he was given life term by the Delhi High Court.

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