Court not place where everybody walks in to get publicity, says SC, dismisses plea over EVM

New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by a political party which claimed electronic voting machine (EVM) were "controlled" by some companies and not the Election Commission, saying the court is not a place where everybody walks in just to get "some publicity".

The apex court said the election process under The Representation of the People Act, 1951 is monitored by the Election Commission (EC) and EVMs are being used in polls for decades now.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka was dealing with a petition filed by Madhya Pradesh Jan Vikas Party against the December last year verdict of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which had dismissed its plea raising the issue about EVMs.

"It appears that party which may not have got much recognition from the electorate by the result of election process now seeks to get recognition by filing petitions," the top court observed while dismissing the plea.

The bench said EVMs have been in use for a long time but, periodically, issues have been sought to be raised.

The counsel appearing for the party referred to Article 324 of the Constitution which deals with superintendence, direction and control of elections to be vested in the Election Commission.

He asserted though Article 324 says everything has to be controlled by the EC, the EVMs are being controlled by some companies.

"Do you know how many people vote in parliamentary elections in the entire country? It is a huge exercise," the bench observed.

It asked whether the petitioner wanted the court to monitor the exercise as to in what manner the EVMs should be used.

The counsel said the petitioner wanted some checks and balances should be there in this process.

He said the petitioner wants Article 324 be implemented in true spirit and everything should be controlled by the EC and not by some company. They only want a free and fair election process, the counsel said.

"It is not a place where everybody walks in just to get some publicity," the bench observed, before junking the petition.