New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday sought an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court on its plea alleging that EVMs and VVPAT machines used in the assembly polls of six states are lying unused as they are preserved due to an order extending the limitation period for filing pleas, including election petitions, during the second wave of Covid.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana agreed to hear next week the EC’s plea after senior advocate Vikas Singh submitted that a large number of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines (VVPATs) are still being preserved and need to be released.
He sought that a timeline be fixed for filing election petitions relating to assembly polls of Assam, Kerala, Delhi, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
“We have to maintain these EVMs and VVPAT machines and hearing is necessary as elections in states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab are coming up,” the senior lawyer said, adding that these machines would be needed for upcoming polls.
“All right, we will fix it next week,” said the bench which also comprised justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna.
Taking note of the onset of the second Covid wave, the CJI-led bench, on April 27, had relaxed the statutory period for filing petitions, including the election petitions, under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.