Tuesday, January 17, 2012

EVMs not tamper-proof, but no paper trail: Delhi HC

The Delhi high court on Tuesday said that electronic voting machines (EVMs), that have come to be the backbone of elections in India, are not "tamper-proof".

The court, however, refused to direct the EC to incorporate a paper trail to record votes cast through EVMs.

Giving its ruling on a petition, the HC bench comprising Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said it was not impossible to tamper with the EVMs but added that it is difficult to issue any directions to the Election Commission in this regard.

However, the court added that the EC should itself consider a way out of it to put to rest all the doubts.

The petitioner had asked the high court that either a paper trail be incorporated to record the votes cast through EVMs or return to the old system of paper ballots.

The bench had earlier reserved its verdict on the plea till today.

The petitioner had contended that there was lack of transparency in EVMs.

European countries like the UK, the US and Japan have rejected the EVMs due to their failure and they preferred paper ballots for their elections, the petitioner had said.

Seeking the court's direction, he also said "the EVM's brain, micro controller is being manufactured in foreign countries like Japan, which themselves do not use the machine due to its demerits".

The EC, however, opposed the plea saying that returning to the paper ballots would not be feasible as it would require immense expenditure as there are now over 73 crore voters in the country.

"The machine ( EVM) accommodates as many as 64 party symbols and because of electronically organised data, the counting became faster," the EC's counsel had said.

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