New Delhi, April 18: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday declined Aam Aadmi Party’s request to use second-generation EVMs with paper trail in the April 23 civic polls in the national capital.
Citing nearing date of elections, Justice A.K. Pathak said, “nothing can be done at the eleventh hour.”
“We cannot stay the election nor pass an order to use electronic voting machines which are not there.”
The Delhi High Court meanwhile has sought a response from the Election Commission of India and the Delhi State Election Commission by Friday which is the next date of hearing.
The State Election Commission counsel Sumeet Pushkarna opposed the plea of the AAP and its candidate Mohammad Tahir Hussain for use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the upcoming civic elections on the ground that the polls are slated for April 23. He said changing all EVMs with VVPAT is not feasible in four days.
The counsel also said the EVMs in the sate are the same that were used in 2015 assembly elections, when AAP came to power.
On this Indira Jaising, appearing for the AAP and Hussain, contended that the poll panel was duty-bound to use the VVPAT-linked EVMs, and pointed out Supreme Court order of 2013 when it termed the second-generation EVMs as the “safest”.
Jaising said the EVMs compatible with VVPATs were used in Uttar Pradesh and Goa polls and the Election Commission of India has 13,000, apart from additional 3,000, second-generation EVMs with them.
Raising concern over the EVM security, Jaising said: There is a demonstrable problem in Dholpur in Rajasthan — no matter what button you press, the vote will go to the BJP.
The VVPAT is connected with EVMs and dispenses paper proof so that voters can verify that their vote has been cast correctly.
The AAP and the Congress say that the EVMs without VVPAT can be tampered with.