SC rejects Opposition’s petition on 50% VVPAT verification

The Congress leader also raised a few contentions on the top court’s order. “The first point is that the court gave us a five-time increase in the VVPAT count in our first petition. The second point is that the court order of April 8 notes that it is important to undertake confidence-building measures which translate to a viable number being achieved in auto sample check,” he contended.

“The principal point in our review petition today was that having accepted our principle, the court has increased the number in a manner which has no real-life or practical application. All we are saying is that although we want an increase to 50 per cent, you may increase to at least 25 per cent,” he added.

“We beseech the court to increase the VVPAT count by a substantial margin. Through our senior leaders, we want to inform the electorate about the matter,” he submitted.

A memorandum submitted by the 22 political parties stated: “If any discrepancy is found anywhere in the country, the declaration of result shall be withheld till 100% counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that assembly segment in that parliamentary constituency are counted and cross-checked, so that the voters’ confidence is restored.”

ECI, however, in an affidavit submitted earlier to Supreme Court of India admitted that there can be no variation, not even of one single vote between the EVM count and VVPAT paper slip count. The EC had also submitted in an affidavit to the top court, based on a study by the Indian Statistical Institute, that the confidence level would not vary by a substantial margin if the number of VVPAT count is increased from the current level.

The confidence level for the current scenario lies around 99 per cent and thus the EC contends that the current system is good enough. Five phases of elections now stand completed, while two phases of polls are scheduled for May 12 and 19. Results will be declared on May 23. (ANI)

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