SC Explains: How in Future Res judicata May Apply on Writs Questioning Fairness of EVMs?

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In conclusion, the latest Supreme Court judgment on EVMs and VVPATs sets a precedent regarding the threshold for legal challenges to India's voting system, emphasizing the importance of substantive evidence and conclusive resolutions to maintain electoral integrity.

New Delhi (ABC Live): On April 26, 2024, the Supreme Court of India issued its judgment regarding the verification of votes using the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) alongside Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta of the Apex Court dismissed all pleas seeking 100% verification of votes cast through EVMs with VVPAT. The decision was announced on the same day as the commencement of the second phase of the 2024 General Elections.

The judgment referenced previous cases related to EVMs and VVPATs, including Subramanian Swamy v. Election Commission of India and N. Chandrababu Naidu v. Union of India, to establish the context for their ruling. Justice Sanjiv Khanna based his judgment on technological and legal precedents, citing the need for credible evidence to challenge the existing electoral system.

Justice Dipankar Datta focused on the principles of Res Judicata and the maintainability of writs, emphasizing that mere suspicion of EVM malfunction was insufficient grounds for legal action without tangible evidence of malice, arbitrariness, or breach of law. The judgment underscored the importance of not disrupting the electoral process without substantial proof of wrongdoing.

Furthermore, the ruling addressed the issue of Res Judicata, stating that challenges to the efficacy of EVMs must present new and distinct grounds to justify revisiting the matter. The Court emphasized the need for conclusive resolutions to such issues and cautioned against regressive measures that could undermine the electoral process.

In conclusion, the latest Supreme Court judgment on EVMs and VVPATs sets a precedent regarding the threshold for legal challenges to India's voting system, emphasizing the importance of substantive evidence and conclusive resolutions to maintain electoral integrity.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna in his judgment took up the issue of earlier judgments of EVM/VVPATs wherein he referred following cases:

Subramanian Swamy v. Election Commission of India

N. Chandrababu Naidu and Others v. Union of India and Another

Nyaya Bhoomi and Another v. Election Commission of India

Tech for All v. Election Commission of India

Prakash Joshi v. Election Commission of India

Madhya Pradesh Jan Vikash Party v. Election Commission of India

Sunil Ahya v. Election Commission of India

Kamal Nath v. Election Commission of India and Others

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