Poll panel asked to respond to plea on EVM standards

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Election Commission to respond to Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy’s plea that electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in India lacked necessary safeguards to protect the integrity of a poll outcome and demanded that they be replaced.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan asked the Election Commission to make its stand clear on Swamy’s plea and slated the hearing Oct 21.

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In his petition, Swamy stated that the EVMs used should be of international standards as prevalent in other countries.

“The Election Commission should at least provide for paper receipts of the votes cast for the voter to verify. This move would ensure that a vote cast is secured and the election is not rigged,” he said in his petition.

On this, the court said: “By adopting this method, we are inviting trouble as some mafia don will be standing outside the polling booth and ask for the voting slip and will then threaten voters. This is not the right way.”

On this Swamy, who was arguing on his own, said, “To curb this, one box can be placed inside the polling station where after casting their vote, people can drop the slip there. It will ensure more transparency.”

Counsel for the Election Commission submitted that the EVMs used in India are of high standard, work on a single chip mechanism and are tamper proof.