The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Election Commission of India after a plea filed by 21 Opposition parties over Electronic Voting machines. The opposition parties have filed a petition to verify 50 per cent of the votes cast in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls 2019 using the Voter Verified Paper Trail Audit Machines (VVPAT).

The opposition parties have also approached to the apex court to maintain strict standards and safety norms instituted to prevent tampering of electronic voting machines in the elections.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna directed the the Election Commission to depute a senior officer to assist the court on the next hearing of the matter on March 25.

The petition was filed by by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav, Derek O’Brien M.K. Stalin and others.

Opposition parties have raised doubts about the credibility of electronic voting machines a number of times in the last two years.

During Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections when BJP swept the polls in 2017, the opposition parties alleged EVMs were tampered with.

However, the Election Commission has repeatedly denied allegations that the machines can be tampered with.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission had announced the dates for the 17th Lok Sabha elections in the country. Lok Sabha polls 2019 will be held in seven phases beginning from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will be held on May 23. As per EC, nearly 90 crore voters will be eligible to vote for 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

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