SC to lawyer: Where did you learn voting is fundamental right, denies plea against EVMs

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Jan 6 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked a lawyer from where has he learnt that voting is a fundamental right, as it declined to entertain his plea seeking a direction to the poll panel to stop using EVMs in elections.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde got irked when the lawyer insisted during the hearing that the right to vote was a fundamental right and the Election Commission decision to use EVMs in elections infringes on this right. “From where you get this that voting right is a fundamental right,” the Chief Justice queried the lawyer and asked him to withdraw the PIL.

As the lawyer persisted with his argument, the Chief Justice pulled him up, “We like to learn, since when voting has become fundamental right. Do u have a copy of Constitution.”

The bench asked the lawyer to first move the High Court in the matter. The plea was filed by advocate C. R. Jaya Sukin claiming that many developed countries — the US, Japan, Germany — do not conduct voting through EVMs as doubts have been raised about their accuracy. As per an estimate, 31 countries used or studied the EVMs, only 4 used it nationwide, 11 used EVMs in some parts or small elections, added the plea.

The bench also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian in its order said “After some arguments, the petitioner prays for withdrawal of this petition with liberty to approach the appropriate High Court. Prayer is allowed. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid.”

The plea had argued that EVMs can be hacked and is a threat that has been shown not only in India, but in many other countries which is why a number of them have banned the voting machines.

“Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), like all other machines, are prone to errors and malfunctioning. No machine ever made anywhere in the world is infallible”, added the plea.

The plea added that fake display units could be installed in the electronic voting machines which would show manipulated numbers and fake votes could be generated from the back end.


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