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Supreme Court Terms 100% Counting of VVPATs As “Nonsense”

Supreme Court

 

Guwahati: The Supreme Court of India today dismissed a request seeking 100 percent matching of Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on Thursday for the national election.

A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra termed the request by a Chennai-based organization as ‘nonsense.’ The Supreme Court’s rejection of the petition comes weeks after it rejected a petition by 21 opposition parties that asked for counting of at least 25% EVM paper trail machines instead of only five in every assembly segment.

The election commission had argued during a hearing on April 8 that the results of the Lok Sabha election could be delayed by five days if 50 percent of VVPAT machines in every assembly segment were counted. The apex court had asked the poll body to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in Lok Sabha polls saying it would provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but also to the entire electorate.

The supreme court today said that a larger bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had already dealt with the matter and passed an order. Justice Arun Mishra said that the CJI bench had already decided on the issue adding that why are you raising the issue before the vacation bench. He said that democracy will suffer if they keep on doing this. He further said that this petition is ‘nonsense.’

The representatives of 21 opposition parties also moved to EC today to make a host of demands including tracking of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and extensive use of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT).

The opposition parties are skeptical about EVMs and often said that the polling machines are tampered with even as the election commission ruled out any such possibilities. The opposition parties will also demand that the EVM machines should be tracked so that they can be identified with their numbers and location of use.

 

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