Party Which Did Not Get Recognition From Electorate Seeks Recognition By Filing Petitions- SC Dismisses Plea Against EVMs With Cost
The Supreme Court while dismissing the Petition filed against the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court challenging the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the election process, observed, "It appears that party which may not have got much recognition from the electorate now seeks recognition by filing petitions!"
The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka dismissed the petition and imposed costs of Rupees 50,000.
The Petition arose out of an order dated December 14, 2021, passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court in a petition filed against the Election Commission of India by the Madhya Pradesh Jan Vikas Party with the prayer of issuing a writ in the nature of mandamus commanding the Respondent to follow the provisions of the law and rules and ban the use of EVMs for the conduct of elections.
Advocate Varun Thakur appeared for the Petitioner before the Apex Court.
The Petitioner alleged that the Respondent i.e., the Election Commission of India being the Constitutional authority must monitor the election process under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and that there are many discrepancies in the Electronic Voting Machines as manufacturing of it involves stages such as manufacture, transportation, randomization, symbol loading, etc., which are done by the manufacturing companies and not the Election commission of India thereby violating the statutory provisions and rules.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had dismissed the Petition holding, "The prayers sought are for a direction to the respondents to comply with law. There cannot be a mandamus to enforce a statute. Even otherwise we do not find that there is any violation which warrants any interference by this Court. Various procedure as enunciated under the Act and the Rules are to be followed by the respondent-Election Commission of India. They have been doing so. In case, there is any violation then the appropriate remedy is also provided for the same. Hence, we find no good ground for interference."
The Petitioner then approached the Supreme Court with the Special Leave to appeal challenging the use of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) process in the election.
The Court also noted that "The election process under the representation of the People Act, 1951 is monitored by a Constitutional Authority like Election Commission. Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) process has been utilized in our Country for decades now but periodically issues are sought to be raised. This is one such endeavor in the abstract."
Observing that the filing of such petitions must be deterred, the Court dismissed the Petition.
Cause Title: Madhya Pradesh Jan Vikas Party v. Election Commission of India