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SC rejects review plea of 21 Opposition leaders

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, May 7 - The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the VVPAT review plea of 21 Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who came unexpectedly to the hearing but returned dejected as it was dismissed in about a minute.

Naidu, along with National Conference�s Farooq Abdullah and CPI MP D Raja, was present in the courtroom to watch the proceedings wherein the top court refused to modify its April 8 order directing the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in the Lok Sabha elections.

The review plea demanded that random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs be further raised to at least 25 per cent from five polling booths.

�We are not inclined to modify our order,� a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi told senior advocates AM Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, who were appearing for the petitioners.

The April 8 order had said that increasing the random matching to five polling booths will provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the entire electorate.

Singhvi on Tuesday told the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, that random matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) should be increased to at least 25 per cent as against the present 2 per cent.

�The Supreme Court had increased it from one to five (polling booths per assembly segment). We have asked for 50 per cent but we will be happy with 33 or even 25 per cent. We want at least 25 per cent. It is for increasing satisfaction and confidence

building measure,� he told the bench.

He said the number of random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs should be �viable� and the order for increasing it to five polling booths per assembly segment would amount to only 2 per cent. When the apex court said it would not modify the April 8 order, Singhvi said, �Suppose they (EC) find any fault in five, then? There is no guidelines for this�.

Sibal also joined the arguments and said the poll panel had earlier �misled the court� on this aspect.

To this, the CJI said, �This is a review petition. We are not obliged to hear you in an open court.�

The 21 Opposition leaders had sought a review of the apex court�s order, saying the �increase from one to five is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court�.

�The petitioners submit that the aforesaid increase to a mere 2 per cent is not sufficient and will not make any substantial difference to the situation that existed prior to the passing of the impugned order,� they said. � PTI

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SC rejects review plea of 21 Opposition leaders

NEW DELHI, May 7 - The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the VVPAT review plea of 21 Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who came unexpectedly to the hearing but returned dejected as it was dismissed in about a minute.

Naidu, along with National Conference�s Farooq Abdullah and CPI MP D Raja, was present in the courtroom to watch the proceedings wherein the top court refused to modify its April 8 order directing the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in the Lok Sabha elections.

The review plea demanded that random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs be further raised to at least 25 per cent from five polling booths.

�We are not inclined to modify our order,� a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi told senior advocates AM Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, who were appearing for the petitioners.

The April 8 order had said that increasing the random matching to five polling booths will provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the entire electorate.

Singhvi on Tuesday told the bench, which also comprised Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, that random matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) should be increased to at least 25 per cent as against the present 2 per cent.

�The Supreme Court had increased it from one to five (polling booths per assembly segment). We have asked for 50 per cent but we will be happy with 33 or even 25 per cent. We want at least 25 per cent. It is for increasing satisfaction and confidence

building measure,� he told the bench.

He said the number of random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs should be �viable� and the order for increasing it to five polling booths per assembly segment would amount to only 2 per cent. When the apex court said it would not modify the April 8 order, Singhvi said, �Suppose they (EC) find any fault in five, then? There is no guidelines for this�.

Sibal also joined the arguments and said the poll panel had earlier �misled the court� on this aspect.

To this, the CJI said, �This is a review petition. We are not obliged to hear you in an open court.�

The 21 Opposition leaders had sought a review of the apex court�s order, saying the �increase from one to five is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court�.

�The petitioners submit that the aforesaid increase to a mere 2 per cent is not sufficient and will not make any substantial difference to the situation that existed prior to the passing of the impugned order,� they said. � PTI