Supreme Court junks PIL seeking 100% VVPAT verification

On Tuesday, the bench added it would not entertain such a plea over and over again, and that it would not come in the way of people electing their representatives.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday junked a PIL that sought a direction to the Election Commission to verify 100 per cent Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using their Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) when the votes are counted on Thursday.

A vacation bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah dubbed the plea by Chennai-based organisation Tech 4 All a nuisance , and dismissed it, saying that the subject matter had already been considered by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The CJI had dealt with this matter… We will not list any such case for urgent hearing. We cannot override the CJI s order… This is nonsense, Justice Mishra observed, refusing to grant urgent hearing to the plea.

The court was referring to the April 8 order given by a bench comprising the CJI and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna directing the EC to increase the number of EVMs that will be subject to random verification using their VVPAT slips from one per Assembly segment to five for these Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The direction came on a plea by leaders of 21 political parties seeking random verification of 50 per cent EVMs using VVPATs.

On May 7, the court also dismissed review petitions seeking modification of the April 8 order.

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On Tuesday, the bench added it would not entertain such a plea over and over again, and that it would not come in the way of people electing their representatives.

The petition by Tech 4 All referred to reports on malfunctioning of EVMs in the just-concluded Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. It is reported that till the third phase of Lok Shaba Election 2019, 49 out of 303 constituencies, that is 1/6th of constituencies, suffered due to EVM malfunctioning, it said, and referred to instances from Odisha and Goa.