Set back to opposition, SC declined increase in verification of VVPAT slips


New Delhi In a set back to the Opposition, the Supreme Court declined to increase the count for the verification of voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

On April 8, the top court had directed the Election Commission to increase the VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths in each Assembly segment of the Parliamentary constituency.

The Opposition leaders led by Naidu told the court that “increase from one to five is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court”, and that it should review the order.

Opposition leaders attack EVM-VVPATs

A bench headed by the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said “we are not willing to modify our order”.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Opposition leaders, argued that the demand of the leaders was viable, as it was reasonable and meaningful.  Singhvi told the court that it was “being misled”.

The court declined to consider Singhvi’s argument, saying: “We are not inclined to modify our earlier order.”

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh, Communist Party of India MP D. Raja and National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah, attended Tuesday’s proceedings in the apex court.

Opposition renewed demand of 50% VVPAT vote count, to approach SC

Last week, court agreed to hear a review plea by the 21 Opposition leaders seeking to increase the verification of VVPAT slips with EVMs in the ongoing polls.

The Supreme Court had increased VVPAT from one EVM per Assembly segment to five randomly selected EVMs.

Earlier, increasing the poll booths for verification, the court said this was being done to ensure the greatest degree of accuracy and satisfaction in the election process.