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Thursday, June 1, 2023

SC agrees to list controversial serial petitioner’s PIL seeking use of ballot papers, instead of EVMs

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine a PIL against the validity of a provision of the Representation of People Act, which led to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), replacing ballot papers, for elections in the country.

Advocate M.L. Sharma submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana that the matter requires urgent listing against the backdrop of polls scheduled in five states – Goa, Punjab, Manipur, and Uttar Pradesh. The elections will be held between February 10 and March 10.

Sharma, who filed the petition in his personal capacity, submitted that the Section 61A of the Representation of People Act, which allowed the use of EVMs, was not passed by the Parliament. He added that this cannot be imposed, and his plea sought declaration of the provision as void, illegal, and unconstitutional.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the Chief Justice said: “We will see it…”. He said that he may list the petition before some other bench.

Sharma said: “I have filed the petition which is supported with the evidence on the record.” He emphasised that judicial note can be taken note of the case. The petition has made the Law ministry as a party in the matter.

“Let the election be held through ballot papers,” he said.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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