Big shock to Opposition as SC rejects review order on VVPAT counting

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, May 7: The Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed the plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders seeking a review of its April 8 order directing the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment."We are not inclined to modify our order," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. The plea was filed by opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for petitioners, told the bench that the apex court had increased the random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment and they are now seeking that it should be increased to 25 per cent at least."It will be for the satisfaction of confidence-building measures," Singhvi told the bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. Singhvi said the present increase of random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment amounted to a meagre two per cent and petitioners are seeking that it be raised to 25 per cent at least. EC should verify count on all VVPATs: says NaiduTDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said he will approach the Election Commission requesting counting of all the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail in an Assembly segment in case any discrepancy or mismatch is found in any of the five VVPATs-EVMs are that are required to be verified.He made this comments to reporters after the Supreme Court turned down a review plea by 21 opposition parties seeking a direction to increase random physical verification of VVPAT from five to at least 50 per cent of EVMs.The review petition was filed after the Supreme Court on April 8 directed the ECI to increase physical counting of VVPAT slips to 5 random EVMs in each constituency. Earlier, only VVPAT slips from one EVM in every Assembly segment or constituency was subjected to physical verification.