HC notice to EC over PIL seeking to make VVPAT error-free

The Bombay High Court issued a notice on Friday to the Election Commission of India (ECI) over a PIL seeking directions to make voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) devices more transparent and error-free.

The petition has been filed by city resident Prashant Yadav.

It claims that the VVPAT machines are susceptible to tampering as they depend on the human interface at two levels — while uploading the application software at the manufacturing stage, and while uploading official symbols of political parties into the devices at the offices of returning officers.

The petitioner told a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar that he had written to the ECI several times in the past year with suggestions to minimise the VVPAT system errors.

However, the ECI was yet to respond, he said.

The bench directed that a notice be served to the ECI and the petitioner gives his suggestions to the poll body on the next date of hearing.

The VVPAT devices dispense a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted, thus enabling verification of the voting process.