Association Of Democratic Reforms vs Union Of India 2024 INSC 341 – EVM VVPAT

Electronic Voting Machines – EVMs are simple, secure and user-friendly. The voters, candidates and their representatives, and the officials of the ECI are aware of the nitty-gritty of the EVM system. They also check and ensure righteousness and integrity. Moreover, the incorporation of the VVPAT system fortifies the principle of vote verifiability, thereby enhancing the overall accountability of the electoral process – Directions issued: (a) On completion of the symbol loading process in the VVPATs undertaken on or after 01.05.2024, the symbol loading units shall be sealed and secured in a container. The candidates or their representatives shall sign the seal. The sealed containers, containing the symbol loading units, shall be kept in the strong room along with the EVMs at least for a period of 45 days post the declaration of results. They shall be opened, examined and dealt with as in the case of EVMs. (b) The burnt memory/microcontroller in 5% of the EVMs, that is, the control unit, ballot unit and the VVPAT, per assembly constituency/assembly segment of a parliamentary constituency shall be checked and verified by the team of engineers from the manufacturers of the EVMs, post the announcement of the results, for any tampering or modification, on a written request made by candidates who are at SI.No.2 or Sl.No.3, behind the highest polled candidate. Such candidates or their representatives shall identify the EVMs by the polling station or serial number. All the candidates and their representatives shall have an option to remain present at the time of verification. Such a request should be made within a period of 7 days from the date of declaration of the result. The District Election Officer, in consultation with the team of engineers, shall certify the authenticity/intactness of the burnt memory/ microcontroller after the verification process is conducted. The actual cost or expenses for the said verification will be notified by the ECI, and the candidate making the said request will pay for such expenses. The expenses will be refunded, in case the EVM is found to be tampered.

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