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Monday 30 March 2020

Electronic Voting Mandate from Supreme Court: ‘Not obliged’ to listen to opposition

The Supreme Court said it was not ready to interfere in the domain of the Election Commission. The opposition parties had demanded a 50% match of VVPAT slips with EVM vote counts

Editorials

In India

New Delhi: The opposition parties received a rude jolt on Tuesday from the Supreme Court on the matter of VVPAT. Dealing with the plea to order the Election Commission to match the EVM count of votes with the VVPAT paper trails for up to 50% of the polling booths in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the apex court has refused to consider the review petition of 21 opposition parties including TDP head Nara Chandrababu Naidu and the Congress.

The Supreme Court rejected the petition of opposition parties. During the hearing of the case, the highest court of the country said it was not ready to interfere in the domain of the Election Commission. “We are not obliged to listen to you,” the court told the petitioners. The opposition parties had demanded a 50% match of VVPAT slips with EVM vote counts.

“We are not inclined to modify our order,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for petitioners, told the bench that the apex court had increased the random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per Assembly segment and they are now seeking that it should be increased to 25% at least.

“It will be for the satisfaction of confidence-building measures,” Singhvi told the bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

Singhvi said the present increase of random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment amounted to a meagre two per cent and petitioners are seeking that it be raised to 25% at least.

For all reports related to the Lok Sabha election 2019, please visit this page.

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