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Daily News Analysis


25th June, 2024 Polity


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Picture Courtesy: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/evm-burnt-memory-9406679/

Context: Following the 2024 Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections, some candidates were dissatisfied with the election results and sought additional verification.


  • Eleven candidates from the recently-concluded 2024 Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections have applied for the verification of burnt memory of the Ballot Units and Control Units of electronic voting machines (EVMs), as well as the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units.

The "burnt memory" of EVMs and VVPATs refers to their non-volatile memory that permanently stores important data, even when powered off. This includes votes cast, machine configuration, operational details for EVMs, and printed records of votes cast for VVPATs. This process ensures the integrity and accuracy of election results stored in these devices.

Supreme Court Order

  • In April 2024, the Supreme Court upheld the EVM-VVPAT system and rejected the demand for a return to ballot papers and 100% counting of VVPAT slips.
  • It allowed second- and third-placed candidates to request verification of up to 5% of EVMs and VVPATs in an Assembly constituency or segment of a Lok Sabha constituency.

Key Points of the Court's ruling

  • Candidates can request verification of the burnt memories of EVMs and VVPATs.
  • The verification can cover up to 5% of machines in an Assembly constituency or segment.
  • The process is available to second- and third-placed candidates.
  • Candidates must identify the specific EVMs to be verified by polling station or serial number.
  • Candidates or their representatives can be present during the verification.
  • Requests must be made within seven days of the election results.
  • Candidates bear the costs of verification, which are refundable if tampering is found.

Verification Process

The Election Commission of India (ECI) released an administrative Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the verification process, including the following steps:

  • The District Election Officer (DEO) is responsible for overseeing the process.
  • Second- and third-placed candidates can request verification of up to 5% of the EVMs and VVPATs. If both candidates request verification, each is allowed to verify 2.5% of the units.
  • Candidates select the units to be verified by providing the polling station number or the unique serial number of the Ballot Unit, Control Unit, and VVPAT.
  • Candidates must make the request in writing and deposit Rs 40,000 (plus 18% GST) per set of EVMs to the manufacturer.
  • The DEO sends a list of applications to the state Chief Electoral Officer, who informs the manufacturers, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL), within 30 days of the results.
  • Verification begins after the 45-day period for filing Election Petitions. If no petitions are filed, the process starts within 30 days. If a petition is filed, verification starts after a court order allowing it.
  • Electronic devices are banned from the verification halls, which have single entry and exit points and are secured by armed police.


  • This new verification process introduced by the Supreme Court aims to ensure transparency and address concerns about EVM tampering. Candidates who suspect tampering can request verification, bearing the costs, which will be refunded if tampering is found. This measure provides an additional layer of assurance for the integrity of the electoral process.

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Indian Express


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