CJI SA Bobde-led Supreme Court rejects plea for 100% matching of VVPAT slips with votes polled using EVMs


The Supreme Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde wasted no time in rejecting a plea for 100 percent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with the votes polled using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the ongoing assembly polls in four states and one union territory.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said while dismissing the plea, “We are not going to interfere in the middle of election process.”

While voting in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has concluded, the elections in West Bengal are being held in eight stages spread over 35 days. The counting of votes would take place on 2 May.

Critics say that the multi-stage polling spread over several weeks gives rise to electoral fraud adding that 100 percent matching would go a long way in eliminating the doubts over the credibility of the elections. But the Election Commission, which has faced condemnation for losing its integrity, has often rejected the idea.

The national poll body has also rejected calls to club together with the remaining phases of assembly polls in Bengal in the wake of the raging second wave of the pandemic.

In 2019, The Supreme Court had increased the mandatory VVPAT verification from one EVM per constituency to five randomly selected EVMs in the last Lok Sabha polls.