Election 2019 - "Nonsense": Top Court Rejects Request On Counting Of 100% VVPATs

General Elections 2019: The Supreme Court turned down a request seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during counting of votes on May 23.

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The petitioners also demanded replacement of EVMs with optical ballot scan machines for future elections.


New Delhi: 

The Supreme Court today dismissed a request seeking 100 per cent matching of VVPAT or voter paper trail slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during counting of votes on Thursday for the national election.

A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra termed the request by a Chennai-based organisation "nonsense". The petition sought a direction that all votes on EVMs be verified with voter paper trail slips.

The petitioners also demanded replacement of EVMs with optical ballot scan machines for future elections. Optical scan voting machine allows a voter to manually mark their vote on a paper ballot which is scanned for electronic tabulation.

The top court's rejection of the petition comes weeks after it rejected a request by 21 opposition parties that asked for counting of at least 25% per cent EVM paper trail machines - instead of only five - in every assembly segment.

During a hearing on April 8, the Election Commission had argued that results of the Lok Sabha election could be delayed by five days if 50 per cent of VVPAT machines in every assembly segment were counted. The top court had asked the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in Lok Sabha polls, saying it would provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but also to the entire electorate.

Today, the Supreme Court said a larger bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had already dealt with the matter and passed an order. "The CJI bench had already decided on the issue.  Why are you raising the issue before the vacation bench.  Democracy will suffer if we keep doing this , This (petition) is nonsense," Justice Mishra said.

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