The Supreme Court today rejected a request seeking 100 per cent matching of VVPAT or voter paper trail slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23rd, Thursday for the LokSabha election.
A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra termed the request by a Chennai-based organization as "nonsense".
The petitioners had also demanded replacement of EVMs with optical ballot scan machines for any 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 apex court's rejection of the petition comes a weeks after it rejected a request by 21 opposition parties which 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 8th, 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 SC had then asked the EC to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in Lok Sabha polls. It said that this action will provide a greater satisfaction not just to political parties but also to the entire electorate.
Today, the apex Court set a larger bench which was headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi who had reportedly 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.