Assembly polls: SC refused last-minute interference into countingtext_fields
New Delhi: A plea, seeking random matching of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with electronic voting machines (EVM) verification in more polling booths, got rejected after Supreme Court refused to interfere in the counting of votes scheduled on Thursday over five states, The Indian Express reported.
On Wednesday, the top court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, also declined an urgent hearing on the plea. "We are not interfering, let counting go on as per established practice, procedures and law. They (EC) are following judgment; they have made a statement," the CJI said. This was after the Election Commission informed the court that it follows the SC's judgment on VVPAT slip verification, and its officials are already trained accordingly.
However, the SC bench comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli assured that the petition would be considered in the regular course.
When for the petitioner, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora had sought an urgent hearing on Wednesday, as counting is scheduled on March 10, CJI asked why the petitioner had not raised this earlier but waited till the last minute. He said that the court could do nothing now.
The petitioner had demanded an increase in the number of booths per constituency from five to 25, where VVPAT verification is done. It also asked for the verification to be done before the counting begins since the candidates or their agents do not wait for it once they know the outcome in the last round of counting.