The Delhi High Court Tuesday dismissed, with Rs 10,000 costs, a plea seeking direction to the Election Commission to stop the use of electronic voting machines (EVM) and revert to ballot papers in the forthcoming polls in the country
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said the petition by C R Jaya Sukin – a lawyer, was a publicity interest litigation based on hearsay and baseless allegations and averments . Nothing in argued by the petitioner (Sukin) concretely on the working of the EVM. We see no reason to entrain the writ petition, the court said.
It noted that the petition was based on four documents, out of which one was a news item and others pertained to his representation and plea before Supreme Court, and Sukin himself had no knowledge about EVMs at all. The petitioner has read the news item the filed the writ petition without looking at the EVM and working of the EVM…which is approved by the Election Commission as well as the Parliament, the court said.
The court said Sukin may file a fresh petition on the issue after conducting research and making proper averments. The writ petition is dismissed with costs of Rs 10,000 to be deposited in four weeks towards Delhi State Legal Services Authority, the court ordered. Advocate Sidhant Kumar, appearing for the Election Commission, said that different courts in the country have already looked into and decided the issue. Sukin, who appeared in-person, argued that democracy was in danger by the use of EVM as the machine was prone to be hacked. He submitted that several countries, including Japan and the US, have chosen the ballot system of voting and shunned the use of EVMs for their election process.
EVM was made by other countries and even those countries are not using. USA last November held elections and even in huge COVID, they used ballot , Sukin told the court.
In his petition, Sukin said, Article 324 of the Constitution of India states that elections conducted by Election commission need to be free and fair, and reflect the will of the voters. The EVMs must be replaced across India with traditional ballot papers. Voting through ballot papers is a more reliable and transparent method for the electoral process of any country.