Gujarat polls: Supreme Court rejects Congress' plea for 20 per cent vote count via VVPAT

The court asked Congress to instead move a substantive petition directly to the apex court seeking electoral reforms with regards to Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.

Published: 15th December 2017 04:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th December 2017 10:26 AM   |  A+A-

VVPATs (Image used for representational purpose only)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to consider the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee’s (GPCC) plea to direct the Election Commission (EC) to match the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) with results from at least 20 per cent of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in each constituency of the State which went to polls in two phases on December 9 and 14.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, “We can’t substitute the decision of the Election Commission unless you (GPCC) demonstrate that the poll panel’s decision is either arbitrary or not in accordance with the law.”

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for petitioner GPCC secretary Mohammed Arif Rajput said the counting of VVPAT slips along with votes cast in the EVMs in at least 20 per cent of the booths of each constituency would reassure the people on the fairness of the polls. The court also wondered how it can discredit the decision of the EC unless there is something to substantiate the apprehensions of the petitioner.

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