NEW DELHI: The Election Commission has sent a fresh reminder to the law ministry seeking "urgent" sanction of funds for procurement of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) in time to hold the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with new-age EVMs.
In a letter written to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on March 22, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi reiterated that the order for supply of VVPAT needed to be placed+ without further delay to ensure that they are ready by September 2018 to meet the requirement of next general election to the House of the People.
"Commission stands fully committed to deploy VVPATs along with EVMs in all future elections so that transparency of electoral process is enhanced, integrity of the voting is preserved and voter's confidence in the process is further strengthened. It is felt that the process of procurement of VVPATs cannot be delayed any longer given prevailing environment," Zaidi argued in his letter.
"Hence I request you to ensure urgent release of sanction orders for timely production of VVPATs as desired by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India," added the CEC.
EC, on its part, informed the court that it would take Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd, the two PSU suppliers of EVMs to EC, 30 months after release of funds to manufacture the additional 15.5 lakh machines required by EC to conduct the 2019 general elections.