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No 50% EVM-VVPAT verification as Supreme Court rejects opposition's review plea

The top court had earlier increased the VVPAT from one EVM per Assembly segment to five randomly selected EVMs to ensure a high degree of accuracy and satisfaction in the election process.

No 50% EVM-VVPAT verification as Supreme Court rejects opposition's review plea

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed the review petition of 21 opposition parties seeking counter verification of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPATs). 

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"We are not inclined to modify our order," said the SC bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi while dismissing review plea on the random matching of VVPAT slips.

The top court had earlier increased the VVPAT from one EVM per Assembly segment to five randomly selected EVMs on April 8. The court said it was being done to ensure a high degree of accuracy and satisfaction in the election process.

Twenty-one opposition parties led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu had sought the review of the SC's order, saying the "increase from 1 to 5 is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court". The parties include Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Communist Party of India (CPI) and others. The plea was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta. 

Speaking to media after the top court's hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi joined by Naidu, Farooq Abdullah and D Raja said that VVPAT slips counting should be done on at least 25 per cent of EVMs for the general election.

Meanwhile, Naidu has approached the Election Commission of India, seeking counter checking of EVMs using VVPATs. In a letter to the poll panel, Naidu demanded verification of at least 50 per cent of the EVMs.