Senior Congress leaders from Pune Adv Abhay Chhajed and Ramesh Iyer have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court demanding that the time and date of voting should be printed on the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
The petition was filed before the bench of Chief Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, Justice Manoj Mishra of the Supreme Court on February 2 and this petition will come up for hearing on February 7.
In this regard, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission and the Central Government and has asked them to submit their response on February 7. Adv Abhay Anil Anturkar, Adv Surbhi Kapoor, and Adv Asim Sarode are fighting the case in the Supreme Court on behalf of Congress leaders Adv Abhay Chhajed and Ramesh Iyer.
The main demand of the petitioners is that the time and date of voting should be printed on the VVPAT slips that enter the EVM machines used in the elections. In the 2019 election, the time and date were not printed on the VVPAT slips. In the recently held Kasba Assembly by-election, Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar requested the Election Commission for the same, but it was not accepted.
The petitioners have brought to the notice of the Supreme Court that although the expert committee of the Election Commission has recommended that the date and time of voting should be printed on VVPAT slips, it has not been implemented from time to time. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the government and the Election Commission should coordinate and implement the recommendations of the expert committee.
It is the voter’s right to get a VVPAT slip mentioning the date and time of voting. The petitioners said that the functioning of EVM machines and VVPAT slips should be reliable and should be improved to conduct elections in a free and transparent environment.