Supreme Court: A bench of Vineet Saran and UU Lalit, JJ has disposed of a petition seeking directions to the Election Commission of India to conduct an independent audit of the source code (software) of EVM, VVPAT and ETS and then register its signature in public domain. The Court asked the petitioner to approach ECI and if the poll body does not do it, then the petitioner is at the liberty to approach the court once again after a period of three weeks.
The petition, which sought an independent audit of the software used in Electronic Voting Machines, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail and EVM Tracking Software, was filed by advocate Sunil Ahya in January 2020. Ahya said that he will soon approach the election commission for the same. The plea said that the source code of EVM, VVPAT and ETS , all in concert, play a very important role in the scheme of conduct of elections.
“And, if the source code of all these devices were to be subverted in concert, then the process of randomization process would no longer maintain its randomness, rather it will become deterministic and systematic. This would be able to achieve a pre-determined outcome of the election process,”
Earlier, the same plea was filed by the petitioner on December 2018 when former CJI Ranjan Gogoi had sought a reply from Election Commission, following which the poll body had filed a counter affidavit in the matter. However, before the petitioner could seek the permission of the court to file a “rejoinder highlighting the discrepancies in the counter affidavit filed by the ECI”, the matter was closed due to the then imminent General Elections 2019.