The Supreme Court today agreed to take up for hearing on priority basis Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s plea to incorporate paper printouts in electronic voting machines or restore paper balloting system allegedly because EVMs “are not tamper proof.” “We will hear the matter on a priority basis so that it is concluded by the next parliamentary elections. That is the reason we are giving the priority,” said a bench of justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi. The bench adjourned the matter for further hearing on September 27 after hearing Swamy’s submission for over an hour and asked the Election Commission to be prepared with its submission.
Arguing in person, Swamy made a fervent plea for reverting to the old paper-ballot system saying all advance countries in the world, including the USA and Japan have discarded EVMs and gone back to the paper-ballot system. The Janata Party leader said even Japan which had been a pioneer in the launch of the EVMs was today relying on the paper-ballot system only. He said it was only private companies across the world which are manufacturing these EVMs, which are vulnerable to hacking. India, he said, does not indigenously manufacture EVMs and was solely dependant on importing of the machines and the microchips used in them.
Swamy claimed it is difficult and un-reliable to re-count votes using EVMs and cited the re-counting of votes in the Sivaganga parliamentary constituency, represented by Finance Minister P Chidamabaram, which he had won allegedly under controversial circumstances.