The Supreme Court of India (SC) issued a notice to the Election Commission on Friday seeking a response from the poll panel. The Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde posted the matter for hearing in February 2020. The petition was filed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) alleging discrepancies in the final vote counts and EVMs in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This came after BJP secured a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

The petition filed by ADR

The petition filed by ADR sought a direction to the EC to investigate the election results for discrepancies. It said, "The issues and irregularities that arose in the conduct of the election are being cited as arguments for seeking the prayers sought in the petition for effectuating free and fair elections, the survival of democracy and for the enforcement of fundamental rights". The petition also asked for a direction to the ECI for conducting "actual and accurate reconciliation of data" before declaring any election result. 

Read: ADR report: 93% of newly elected Haryana MLAs are crorepatis

The petition also mentioned a letter written by the former IAS officer Kannan Gopinath to the Chief Election Commissioner. This letter highlighted several serious problems and vulnerabilities in the use of VVPAT machines which made EVMs susceptible to potential hacking. The petition also read that the purpose of the plea is to ensure that the democratic process is not subverted by electoral irregularities.

Read: Delhi Assembly polls: Election Commission reviews poll preparedness

The plea said, "That in order to uphold and preserve the sanctity of elections, it is undeniably imperative that election results are accurate. The entire electoral process is damaged if elections are not credible even in the absence of a demonstrable scam".

Read: Laws governing upcoming elections are unfit for the purpose, says Election Commission

ADR's report on crorepati MLAs

After the assembly poll results were declared in Haryana and Maharashtra, the Association of Democratic Rights (ADR) released a report stating the number of crorepati MLAs that are present in the Haryana assembly. The report said, eighty-four of the 90 newly elected Haryana MLAs are crorepatis. In the outgoing assembly, 75 of the 90 MLAs possessed assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore, which means the number of crorepati legislators has increased by 10%, the ADR report said. The average of assets per sitting MLA in Haryana is Rs. 18.29 crore, while it was Rs. 12.97 crore in 2014, it said. According to the ADR analysis, 37 of the 40 BJP MLAs and 29 of the 31 Congress legislators are crorepatis. 

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