April 20, 2021 9:24:21 am
The Supreme Court on Monday junked a plea by a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) vote count.
“We are not going to interfere in the middle of the election process,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, dismissing the plea by Gopal Seth.
The petitioner contended that 100 percent matching was necessary to ensure transparency in the polling process.
The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, asked Seth’s counsel whether the petitioner had made any representation to the Election Commission of India (EC).
“Yes. They (EC) had appreciated our representation,” the counsel said, adding that free and fair election is a right of the people. The counsel pointed out that Seth had earlier approached the Calcutta High Court, which had said that the SC had already ruled on this in the past.
In April 2018, the SC, while rejecting a plea by leaders of 21 political parties to direct the EC to subject 50 per cent of the EVMs to random verification using their Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), had asked the poll body to increase the number of EVMs so verified to five per Assembly segment. Till then, one EVM per Assembly segment used to be verified with the paper trail.
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