The Supreme Court Monday asked the Election Commission (EC) to reply by March 28 on whether the number of random Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) audits could be extended to more than one polling station per assembly segment.
The bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi was hearing a plea by 21 political parties seeking direction to EC to randomly verify the VVPAT in at least 50 per cent of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during elections. The top court will hear the matter on April 1.
CJI Gogoi asked an EC official who appeared before his bench if the poll body can on its own increase the number of VVPAT’s that are randomly verified, adding “we would like you to increase”. Follow Elections 2019 LIVE updates
The EC official replied saying there was no requirement to increase the count and that it was taking periodic steps to strengthen the poll process. The bench expressed its dissatisfaction with the reply and asked why then the court had to intervene to introduce the VVPAT machines.
CJI also told the EC official that “no institution including the judiciary should insulate itself from suggestions”.