The Supreme Court (SC) today (Friday, March 15) issued notice to the Election Commission (EC) on a petition filed by 21 political parties seeking verification of through Voter Verifiable Paper Trail (VVPAT) of votes cast in at least 50 per cent of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The notice was issued by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna who listed the Opposition’s plea to be next heard on March 25, asking the ECI to depute an officer to assist the court.
The opposition parties approached the Supreme Court after EC turned down their plea for mandatory verification of 50 per cent votes by paper trail (VVPAT) before announcing results in the Lok Sabha polls.
The main petitioner in the case is Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Earlier, leaders from 21 political parties had met the Election Commission last month over the issue of alleged tampering of the EVMs.
The parties that have approached the court include the Congress, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, Aam Aadmi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Derek O’Brien for the Trinamool Congress, Farooq Abdullah for the National Conference, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
The opposition party leaders had demanded that 50 per cent of counting of votes should be done through EVMs and the rest 50 per cent through VVPATs. They also said the results of the two should be cross-checked before declaration a candidate winner from a Lok Sabha seat.
The EC, while announcing the poll schedule on March 10, said that while VVPAT will be used at all polling stations along with the EVMs in the Lok Sabha polls, mandatory checking of the EVMs and VVPAT will be done for one polling station in each Lok Sabha constituency. The selection of the VVPAT checking with the EVM records will done on the basis of randomly selected polling booth.
The petition challenges the EC’s decision to verify ballots cast at just one randomly selected booth in each constituency, saying this will tally only 0.44% of the votes. “This guideline defeats the entire purpose of VVPAT and makes it ‘ornamental’,” the plea said.
“A 50% randomised verification in each assembly constituency/assembly segment is a reasonable sample size to both (a) allay the fears of the general public with regard to EVM tampering and; (b) be a statistically significant sample size to ensure that EVMs are working properly,” the plea said.
The parties also want stricter standards and safety norms instituted to prevent tampering of electronic voting machines.
The poll body will use as many as 17.4 lakh VVPAT machines in the conduct of the Lok Sabha and simultaneous assembly elections. The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The votes will be counted on May 23.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Dust storm, light rain expected in Delhi-NCR today, heatwave conditions to abate
IMD claimed in a tweet that Thunderstorm dust with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-50 km/hr would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of Delhi, North Delhi, North East Delhi, North west Delhi, West Delhi, Central Delhi, East delhi and NCR( Loni Dehat, Hindon AF station, Ghaziabad, Indrapuram, Chapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana) Baraut, Bagpat, Meerut, Khekra, Modinagar, Kithor , Garhmukhteshwar, Pilakhua, Hapur ,Gulaoti ,Siyana ,Sikandrabad , Bulandshahr , Jahangirabad (UP)
On Wednesday, a dust storm with light to moderate rain is expected in numerous locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The India Meteorogical Department (IMD) stated the city’s maximum and minimum temperatures are predicted to be in the range of 40 and 25, respectively.
The IMD tweeted an advisory that thunderstorms, dust with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-50 km/hr would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of Delhi, North Delhi, North East Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, Central Delhi, East Delhi and NCR (Loni Dehat, Hindon AF station, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Chapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana), Baraut, Bagpat, Meerut, Khekra, Modinagar, Kithor, Garhmukhteshwar, Pilakhua, Hapur, Gulaoti, Siyana, Sikandrabad, Bulandshahr, Jahangirabad (UP).
For the next two hours, light to moderate intermittent rain is expected over and near Adampur, Hissar, Hansi, and Meham (Haryana).
On Thursday, May 18, light rain is predicted for in Delhi based on the seven-day prediction for the city. The sky will mainly be cloudy, with the potential of a light rain or drizzle, according to the weather office.
The air quality will continue to be deteriorated in the city after strong winds with dust swept across the Delhi-NCR on Tuesday. Following this, visibility had reduced to 1000 metres. Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of regional forecasting centre, said the dry atmosphere is one of the reasons for the dust storms.
Following Tuesday’s severe winds and dust storm that blasted across the Delhi-NCR, the city’s air quality had taken an alarming dip.
The monsoons, which are awaited across India, are likely to make landfall in Kerala on June 4. Usually, the monsoon arrives on May 31 or June 1 but the delay will be made up as the phenomenon progresses on its south-west to north-east arc. With extreme temperatures right from a cold sytart to May to dust-laden winds in mid-May, the weather in the country is paying the price for accelerating climate change.
Security lapse at Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Patiala home, says it will not deter him from raising his voice against Punjab
After his release from jail, he slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for its law and order in the state.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has filed a complaint with the Punjab Police after he spotted a suspicious person wrapped in a grey blanket on his terrace. He alleged a security lapse at his Patiala home. He couldn’t catch him as he fled after his servant raised an alarm.
Taking to Twitter, Sidhu said, Today on the terrace of his residence an unknown suspicious character wrapped in a grey blanket was noticed around 7:00 pm, the moment his servant went out raised the alarm, and called for help, he immediately ran and escaped.
The 59-year-old further said that he has spoken to DGP Punjab Police and has also informed SSP Patiala. He said the security lapse will not deter him from raising his voice for Punjab.
Punjab Police registered a case in this matter. According to the reports, the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police Varun Sharma visited his residence after the complaint and is currently investigating the matter. The CCTV footage of the area is also being scanned, reports state.
Cricketer-turned-politician came out of the Patiala Central Jail on April 1 after serving nearly 10 months in a 1988 road rage case. After his release from jail, he slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for its law and order in the state.
He said Democracy is in chains. Punjab is the shield of this country. When dictatorship came in this country, a revolution also came, led by Rahul Gandhi.
Sidhu also slammed the Mann government over the pruning of security of slain singer Sidhu Moosewala and also making it public.
Air India Delhi-San Francisco flight suffers tech glitch before take-off, returns to stand
The airline has not given any official statement in this matter.
Air India flight which was en route to San Francisco from Delhi on Monday had to be returned to the stand because of a technical glitch. The San Francisco-bound flight suffered a tech issue before take off.
According to the reports, the aircraft which was carrying over 200 passengers from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) had to be replaced with another aircraft. Later, the passengers were accommodated in another aircraft.
The airline has not given any official statement in this matter.
Earlier today, another Air India incident occurred where a London-bound flight returned to Delhi’s IGI airport after a mid-air brawl between an unruly passenger and the flight’s cabin crew.
A brawl ensued between a passenger and the crew members shortly after it departed from the airport at around 6:35 am. The onboard ruckus forced the plane to turn around and return to Delhi again where the raucous passenger was deboarded and handed over to the police at the airport.
Air India apologized to the passengers on the affected Delhi-London flight for the delay and inconvenience caused to them due to the incident and assured them that efforts will be made to ensure such incidents do not occur in the future.