IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


27th April, 2024 Polity


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/-supreme-court-rejects-pleas-seeking-100-evm-vvpat-cross-verification-issues-directions-to-seal-symbol-loading-unit-256174

Context: The recent decision of the Supreme Court addresses concerns about transparency, integrity, and verification of election results using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) equipped with VVPAT units by allowing candidates to verify a percentage of EVMs post-elections.

VVPAT: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/vvpat-14

What Remains Unchanged

  • The judgment does not alter the voting process for voters. Elections will continue to be conducted using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) equipped with VVPAT units.
  • The existing provision of counting VVPAT slips from five randomly selected Assembly constituencies or segments remains unchanged. This is done to verify the count of votes recorded by the EVMs.
  • The petitioner, the Association for Democratic Reforms, had sought 100% counting of VVPAT slips. However, the court upheld the current practice of random counting of VVPAT slips from select constituencies.

Changes Introduced by the Judgment

Storage of Symbol Loading Units (SLUs)

  • The court directed the Election Commission (EC) to seal and store Symbol Loading Units (SLUs) for 45 days post-election results declaration. SLUs are memory units used to load election symbols onto VVPATs. This directive ensures the preservation of critical equipment in case of any election disputes or petitions.

Verification of EVMs

  • Candidates who secure second or third place in elections are now allowed to request verification of the burnt memory semi-controllers in 5% of EVMs per Assembly segment of each Parliamentary constituency.
  • The verification process involves a team of engineers from the EVM manufacturers, and candidates are required to submit a written request and bear the expenses. If tampering is detected, the expenses will be refunded.

The Supreme Court suggested that the Election Commission explore the feasibility of using counting machines for tallying VVPAT slips. This could involve incorporating barcodes on VVPAT slips to facilitate efficient and accurate counting. This suggestion aims to streamline the verification process and enhance the reliability of VVPAT slip counting.


  • While the fundamental process of voting with EVMs and random VVPAT counting remains unchanged, the Supreme Court's directives aim to enhance transparency and accountability post-election, particularly concerning the storage of SLUs and the verification of EVMs upon candidate request.

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