With the Lok Sabha elections less than a month away, at least 21 opposition parties on Thursday approached the Supreme Court demanding the Electronic Voting Machines to be tamper-free. The top court has listed the petitions for hearing on Friday.
The parties have also demanded that at least 50 per cent of the voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) be counted and matched with the tally of EVMs.
The development comes days after the Election Commission, while announcing the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections, said that VVPATswill be used in all polling stations along with EVMs.
VVPAT or paper trail machine is a device which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip appears on a small window for seven seconds and then drops in a box. The voter cannot take it home.
There have been demands to increase the number of polling stations where EVM and VVPAT results are matched to dispel fears about electronic voting machines being 'hacked' to favour a particular political party.
Parties parties have demanded that 10 to 30 per cent paper trail slips per constituency be counted to ensure there is no rigging and to assure voters that the electronic voting machines are working fine and have not been rigged.
Though most of these parties are in favour of the EC reverting to ballot papers, in view of the short time before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls they are focusing on technical back-up arrangements to protect the credibility of EVMs.