Ahmedabad: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea by the Congress party seeking that the Election Commission of India (EC) be directed to count and cross-verify at least 25 percent of the slips issued by voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines with the votes registered by the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The apex court said it found no merit in the plea filed by the Gujarat unit of the Congress and said it could approach it through the filing of a writ petition for electoral reforms, the ANI news agency reported.
While dismissing the plea, the Supreme Court said it cannot interfere with the EC’s exercise of power. The electoral process in a democracy is of utmost importance and the Supreme Court cannot interfere only to allay the apprehension of a party, it observed.
The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, represented by former Union law minister Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, submitted the plea in the Supreme Court a day after voting for the Gujarat assembly elections came to a close. The state polls, along with those in Himachal Pradesh held last month, are the first to use VVPAT machines in conjunction with the EVMs on a wide scale.
Bharatsinh Solanki, president of the Congress party’s Gujarat unit, could not be reached for comment.
He had tweeted earlier in the day:
.@INCGujarat has filed a petition in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, seeking direction to the EC to count and cross verify at least 25% of the VVPAT Slips in all the assembly constituencies on the day of counting.— Bharat Solanki (@BharatSolankee) December 15, 2017
It is MUST to repose people's faith in our electoral system. pic.twitter.com/FBP8nxy2th