The Election Commission today told the Supreme Court that it will be able to conduct the Gujarat assembly elections, due late this year, using Electronic Voting Machines, EVMs with paper trail.
A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar accepted the submission of Election Commission of India (ECI) and disposed of the plea seeking direction for use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in Gujarat assembly polls.
The VVPAT machine is connected with EVMs and dispenses a paper proof for the voters so that they can verify that their vote is cast correctly.
The court, however, posted other matters connected to use of VVPAT in polls for tomorrow on the plea of petitioners.
The poll panel maintained that EVMs currently used for conducting Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the country cannot be tampered with. It told the apex court that around 70,000 VVPATs units would be required for the Gujarat polls scheduled later this year.
The poll panel said, around 48,000 units were expected to be delivered by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) by August 31 while another 25,500 such units would be delivered by September. It said, currently it was in possession of 53,500 VVPAT units.
The ECI’s affidavit was filed in pursuance to the apex court’s July 6 directive asking it to file a response on the possibility of using EVMs with VVPATs in the Gujarat polls.
The apex court was hearing the plea filed by a Gujarat Patidar leader seeking the use of either ballot paper or EVMs with VVPAT for the assembly elections.