Can’t Stop Political Activities of Convicted Persons, Government Tells Supreme Court
New Delhi, Dec 15: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed Congress party’s plea seeking directions to Election Commission to count and cross verify at least 25 per cent of VVPAT paper trail with EVM votes in the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017. Rejecting Congress’ plea for VVPAT verification, the apex court said it won’t interfere with Election Commission’s exercise of power.
“The electoral process in a democracy is of utmost importance and it can’t interfere only to allay apprehension of a party,” the Supreme Court said. The court further said that it finds no merit in Congress’ plea, adding that Gujarat Congress can approach Supreme Court through filing a writ petition for electoral reforms.
Following court’s refusal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for the Congress, said he was ready to scale down his demand to counting of 10 per cent of EVM paper trail.
A petition was filed the by Secretary Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee. The court also asked why the political leader is filing the petition in personal capacity and why the party itself does not come out boldly to say this.
The demand to verify the votes was made a day after voting concluded in the Gujarat assembly elections and amid complaints of Bluetooth devices being connected to EVMs. The voting for the two-phase Gujarat Assembly election ended on Thursday and counting of votes will be held on December 18.