The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by 21 opposition parties led by TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, seeking an increase in physical verification of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the general elections to 17th Lok Sabha.
Chandrababu Naidu, along with former J&K CM and NC Chief Farooq Abdullah, and CPI leader D Raja were the opposition leaders present in the CJI's courtroom for the hearing.
The Chandrababu Naidu-led plea represented by Congress leader and Supreme Court lawyer, A. M. Singhvi, wanted the random physical verification of such EVMs using VVPATs to be raised to 50% from 5% as was decided by the Supreme Court earlier. The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed the review plea saying, “We are not inclined to review our order.”
The opposition parties led by Chandrababu Naidu wanted VVPAT verification in 50% or 125 of the polling booths in an assembly constituency. Earlier the election commission had spelt out that VVPAT slips from one EVM in every assembly segment would be verified physically.
When this was challenged, the Supreme Court in its April 8 judgement raised this to 5 EVMs, rather than 125 polling boots or 50% in each constituency, as sought by the petitioners. The court said that five EVMs would be viable at this point in time.
Meanwhile, the BJP has accused Chandrababu Naidu and other parties of being overpowered by a sense of imminent defeat.