Supreme Court rejects petition on verifying all votes with VVPAT

The Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking 100 per cent matching of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the counting of general election votes on May 23.

A vacation bench of justices Arun Mishra and MR Shah refused to entertain the PIL on the ground that a larger bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, had already dealt with the matter. The PIL was filed by a Chennai-based organisation, Tech 4 All.

“The CJI has dealt with this matter. Why are you taking [a] chance before a two-judge vacation bench? We will not list any such case for urgent hearing. We cannot override the CJI’s order… This is nonsense,” justice Mishra said, refusing an urgent hearing on the matter. Before dismissing the PIL, the bench observed: “We would not entertain such a plea over and over again… can’t come in the way of people electing their representatives. Let the country elect its government.”

On May 7, the CJI’s bench had dismissed a review plea filed by 21 opposition leaders, led by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, to increase the random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to 50%.