EVM and VVPAT – Reliability – The petitioners challenged the reliability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) systems, suspecting potential manipulation and demanding transparency in the voting process – The core issues revolved around the integrity of EVMs, the adequacy of VVPAT verification, and the fundamental right of voters to know their votes are correctly recorded and counted – Petitioner argued for a return to paper ballots, provision of VVPAT slips to voters, or 100% counting of VVPAT slips alongside electronic counts, citing concerns over EVM transparency and voter confidence – The Election Commission of India (ECI) defended the EVMs’ success in ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections, highlighting technological safeguards against tampering and the benefits over paper ballots – The Court upheld the current EVM and VVPAT system, dismissing the petitions and suggesting improvements for transparency without disrupting the ongoing electoral process – The Court relied on past precedents, the ECI’s robust procedures, and the absence of cogent material evidence against EVMs to reject the petitions – The judgment referenced constitutional provisions, electoral laws, and previous rulings to support the ECI’s position and the current electoral practices – The Supreme Court concluded that the EVMs and VVPAT systems are reliable, and the petitions were dismissed based on the lack of substantial evidence against the current electoral process.


Apr 27, 2024

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Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (Distribution Licence) Regulations, 2013 – Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 – Sections 3 and 4 – Electricity Act – Section 14(b) – Whether a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) developer, deemed to be a distribution licensee under the Electricity Act, is required to make an application for a distribution license and comply with the conditions set out in the Electricity Rules and Regulations. – The appeal challenges the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity’s decision to require an appellant to infuse additional capital as a condition for being identified as a deemed distribution licensee – The court questioned whether a SEZ developer is ipso facto a deemed distribution licensee, obviating the need for an application under section 14 of the Electricity Act – The appellant argued that they are automatically a deemed distribution licensee by virtue of the 2010 Notification and that the conditions imposed by TSERC were in excess of jurisdiction – The respondents argued that the appellant must comply with the 2005 and 2013 Regulations and that TSERC is empowered to impose conditions to assess credit-worthiness – The Supreme Court partially allowed the appeal, setting aside the condition of additional capital infusion imposed by TSERC – The court reasoned that the appellant must apply to be recognized as a deemed licensee but is not subject to the additional capital requirements of regulation 12 and rule 3(2) – The court concluded that the appellant is required to make an application as per the 2013 Regulations, and the condition to infuse additional capital is not justified.