SC rejects pleas for random verification of VVPAT in MP, Rajasthan polls
No loopholes in the current mechanism of the Election Commission, says Supreme Court
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea for random verification of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail(VVPAT) machines in the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The top court refused to interfere in the matter and said there were “no loopholes in the current mechanism of the Election Commission”.
The court was ruling on pleas by Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot seeking VVPAT verification in at least 10% randomly selected polling stations in each Assembly constituency/segment to ensure free and fair elections.
Alleging large-scale duplication of voters in the two poll-bound states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the plea also sought fresh guidelines for operation of VVPAT machines, mock polls and recounting, quality of thermal paper and printing, collection of paper trails and storage and unique identification numbers on VVPAT.
The petitioners highlighted there were over 60 lakh bogus voters in Madhya Pradesh and one crore in Rajasthan.
The Election Commission (EC) had said the petitions should be dismissed for being malafide since they sought to direct the EC, a constitutional authority, to conduct elections according to their personal whims and fancies and that of the political party to which they stand affiliated.
“It is not within the jurisdiction or domain of the petitioner to question the measures taken by the EC with regard to the conduct of elections or preparation of voters’ lists”, it added.
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