Gujarat High Court has issued notices to Central and State Election Commisions and Central Government over a petition filed by Gujarat Congress seeking disqualification of defective EVMs and VVPATs.
Congress's state unit has moved the court seeking that EVMs and VVPATs that were found defective be sealed and not used in the upcoming Assembly polls to be held in two phases on December 9 and December 14.
A division bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice A J Kogji issued notices to the Election Commission (EC), the state chief electoral officer, and the Central Government through its Ministry of Law and Justice on the petition moved by the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee and asked them to respond by November 13.
In its petition, the Congress said that around 7 per cent of total 70,182 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units that were found to be defective during the first level checks, along with defective EVMs and control units, should be sealed and not used at any polling booth in the state.
The petitioner also prayed for the court to either direct the EC or itself set up an expert committee to look into the defective machines to avoid any foul play.
It also sought the court's direction to the EC to use ballot papers as a way to avoid tampering with the machines.
The Supreme Court had in July asked the Election Commission to try using electronic voting machines (EVMs) with paper trails in the Gujarat assembly elections.
“...It appears, you do not want to use EVMs with VVPAT system in Gujarat elections. Just do it, if you can,” a bench of Chief Justice JS Kehar and Justice YV Chandrachud had said as the EC expressed its reservations.
(With Agency inputs)