TOI News Desk
New Delhi

The Election Commission on Thursday opposed petitions raising doubts on functioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and alleged that there are people with vested interest who are discrediting the existing system which is working perfectly well.

The top court, which was hearing a batch of pleas seeking complete cross-verification of votes cast using EVMs with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), reserved its verdict.

VVPAT is an independent vote verification system which enables an elector to see whether his vote was cast correctly.

The petitioners have also sought reversal of the poll panel's 2017 decision to replace the transparent glass on VVPAT machines with an opaque glass through which a voter can see the slip only when the light is on for seven seconds.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta reserved verdict after hearing the response of Election Commission on the pleas.

The poll body also informed the top court that allegations of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) showing one extra vote during a mock poll in Kerala's Kasaragod were false. "These news reports are false. We have verified the allegation from the district collector and it appears that they are false. We will submit a detailed report to the court," senior deputy election commissioner Nitesh Kumar Vyas told a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.

The matter was raised in court by Prashant Bhushan, who is appearing for petitioner NGO 'Association for Democratic Reforms'. The top court asked senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the Election Commission, to look into the issue.

An ECI official present in the court room during the hearing explained the working of the EVMs and VVPAT. He said manufacturer does not know which button is going to be allotted to which party or which machine is going to be allotted to which state.

The ECI official also apprised the court that there had been no mismatch ever between EVMs and VVPAT slips.

The bench observed, "This is electoral process. There has to be sanctity. Let nobody have apprehension that something which is expected is not being done."(With inputs from agencies)

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