SC directs Centre and ECI to submit response on renewal of the Electoral System

Umamageswari Maruthappan

The Supreme Court directed the Central Government and the Election Commission of India to file its response on a petition filed for renewal of the current voting system with the expansion of the electronic voting machine system.

Social Activist K. Sathyan had filed the petition through Advocate Nishe Rajan Shanker. The plea was drawn by Advocates Aruna A., Thulasi K. Raj, Maitreyi S. Hegde, Minu V.P., Tellmy Jolly and Uttara P.V. The petitioner was represented by Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj.

The petition had put forth two pleas. One, to expand the current electoral system by expanding the e-voting procedure to a larger scale.

“Several sections of voters including internal migrant labourers, employees, students and business professionals stationed outside the constituency as well as Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and overseas migrant labourers on account of their profession, occupation, education, trade, business, marriage etc have been alienated from the electoral process for very long,” the petition read.

According to the petitioner, depriving these people is a serious infringement of their Right to Vote and their Constitutional Right to Equality. The compulsion of physical presence defeats the very purpose of free and fair elections in our country.

As a remedy, the petition suggested an effective e-voting system. “This allows the voter to vote from anywhere in the world as long as there is access to an internet-connected computer,” it stated.

The second contention was related to the manipulations of the electronic system. To contain malpractices, the petition suggested a “double database”, that is, having more than one database.

“This will make it difficult for a person attempting to tamper with the EVMs,” the petition said.

Furthermore, the petition also advises the introduction of One Time Password (OTP) System to prevent any fault during the voting process. Lastly, it also suggested the installations of CCTVs in polling booths.

Read also: SCBA Elections: AIIMS advises to conduct elections via virtual mode; cautions spread of Covid-19