21/04/2017 2:12 PM IST | Updated 21/04/2017 2:14 PM IST

Delhi HC Rejects Petition Seeking Use Of EVMs With VVPAT Machines In Upcoming MCD Polls

The court said it is difficult to replace the old machines this fast.

Jitendra Prakash / Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The Delhi High Court on Friday rejected the plea seeking direction to state election commission and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to use only second generation of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the upcoming civic polls in Delhi.

The state election commission in court clearly said the present EVM machines are completely safe/ non- hackable.

The court said it is very difficult to replace 13,000 EVM machines in one day so it's better to use M-1 (present EVM) machines.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress have demanded that the Election Commission conduct the polls using paper ballots instead of EVMs citing the doubts of machines being tampered.

The issue of EVM tampering first surfaced after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) received a massive mandate in the state because of the fault in machines which led to votes being caste in favour of the saffron party no matter which button the voter pressed.

The VVPAT machine is connected with EVMs and dispenses a paper proof for the voters so that they can verify their vote is cast correctly. In the run up to MCD elections, there has been a heated exchange between AAP and the Election Commission.

Earlier, AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had accused the Election Commission of arrogance and not accepting that there could be a fault with the EVMs.

In response, the poll panel challenged that it was not possible to tamper the EVMs.

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken had also raised the issue and wrote to Kejriwal as well as the state election commission seeking the use of paper ballots.

However, the Election Commission made it clear that the MCD elections will be conducted using EVMs after which the AAP has now demanded the use of VVPAT machines.

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