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EC wants SC to fix timeline for poll pleas, to release used EVMs

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana agreed to hear next week EC’s plea after senior advocate Vikas Singh submitted a large number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines (VVPATs) are still being preserved and need to be released.

EC wants SC to fix timeline for poll pleas, to release used EVMs
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Supreme Court of India (File Photo)

New Delhi

The Election Commission on Wednesday sought an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court on its plea alleging that EVMs and VVPAT machines used in the Assembly polls of six states are lying unused as they are preserved due to an order extending the limitation period for filing pleas, including election petitions, during the second wave of COVID-19.

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana agreed to hear next week EC’s plea after senior advocate Vikas Singh submitted a large number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines (VVPATs) are still being preserved and need to be released.

He sought that a timeline is fixed for filing poll petitions relating to Assembly polls of Assam, Kerala, Delhi, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

“We have to maintain these EVMs and VVPAT machines and hearing is necessary as elections in states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab are coming up,” the senior lawyer said, adding that these machines would be needed for upcoming polls. “Alright, we will fix it next week,” said the bench comprising justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna.

The poll panel is seeking appropriate directions from the court fixing a timeline for filing of Election Petitions in the States/UTs of Assam, Kerala, NCT of Delhi, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, as in absence of the same, all EVMs used in these States/UTs are currently stuck or unable to be used/deployed for upcoming/future polls due to April 27 Order passed by this court, the plea said.

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