New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea for random verification of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail(VVPAT) machines in the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The top court refused to interfere in the matter and said there were “no loopholes in the current mechanism of the Election Commission”.
The court was ruling on pleas by Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot seeking VVPAT verification in at least 10% randomly selected polling stations in each Assembly constituency/segment to ensure free and fair elections.
Alleging large-scale duplication of voters in the two poll-bound states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the plea also sought fresh guidelines for the operation of VVPAT machines, mock polls and recounting, quality of thermal paper and printing, the collection of paper trails and storage and unique identification numbers on VVPAT.
Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot have filed petitions over fake or duplicate identities in voter list for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan State Assembly elections.
The bench had reserved its verdict after concluded the hearing of the pleas during which senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Vikas Singh traded charges over the conduct of the polls.
A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said: “We have dismissed these petitions”.
The apex court had reserved its verdict on 8 October on the plea of leaders alleging duplication of voters in the list and sought a proper redressal of grievances to ensure free and fair elections.
It was alleged that as per a survey, in Madhya Pradesh there were over 60 lakh fake voters and similarly, in Rajasthan, there were over 41 lakh duplicate voters.
In Rajasthan, the poll panels have added 71 lakh, new voters, the plea said, adding that directions be given to remove inconsistencies and conduct free and fair elections.
Polls in Madhya Pradesh will be held on 28 November 28 and in Rajasthan on 7 December.