New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought Election Commission’s response on a plea seeking direction for the Government to conduct an independent audit review of various ‘software products’, particularly the ‘source code’ of EVM, VVPAT and ETS.

Doubts have been raised over the efficiency of EVMs and VVPAT time and again. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had asked the EC to file its reply in four weeks and fixed for the final disposal of a petition filed by a journalist, challenging the involvement of private players in checking EVMs before the machines are used for polls.

The petition, filed by a journalist, seeks a direction from the apex court for the setting up of a high-powered committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate whether private persons should be permitted to deal with EVMs against the general procedure in the EC.

The petitioner also demanded a formal inquiry into the background of the private individuals who were permitted to handle the verification of the EVMs during Uttarakhand Assembly elections last year.

An Opposition delegation has also met the EC over EVMs. Meanwhile, a self-proclaimed cyber expert had alleged that EVMs were rigged in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The issue snowballed when the man couldn’t later demonstrate how an EVM can be rigged. However, the presence of senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal at the UK event raised eyebrows.

The event was attended by the hacker, Syed Shuja, via video conferencing. Later, the EC filed a complaint against Shuja and asked the Delhi Police to lodge an FIR against him.

Meanwhile, the company commissioned by the EC for the equipment issued a statement that contrary to Shuja’s claims, he never worked for the company.

ECIL said, “It is certified from records that (Shuja) has neither been on the rolls of ECIL as a regular employee nor was he in any way associated in design or deployment of EVMs.”