SC Rejects Congress Petition To Cross-Verify 25% Of VVPAT Votes With EVMs In Gujarat Polls

| December 15 , 2017 , 15:18 IST

The fiercely fought Gujarat state assembly elections came to an end on Thursday, with numerous exit polls predicting a clear-cut win for BJP, with the Congress trailing behind, despite the Congress party's extensive campaigning ahead of the elections.

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a petition made by the Gujarat Congress seeking direction to the Election Commission to count and cross verify at least 25 percent of the VVPAT Slips in all the assembly constituencies on the date day of counting.

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Senior advocated Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal represented the Congress in the apex court, while President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee Bharatsinh Solanki shared the news of the petition on Twitter.

Solanki tweeted, "@INCGujarat has filed a petition in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, seeking direction to the EC to count and cross verify at least 25% of the VVPAT Slips in all the assembly constituencies on the day of counting. It is MUST to repose people's faith in our electoral system."

The Supreme Court, rejecting the petition, said that it found no merit in the Congress' plea and that Gujarat Congress can approach the SC by filing a writ petition for electoral reforms.

The Supreme Court observed that it cannot interfere with Election Commission's exercise of power, adding that the electoral process in a democracy is of utmost importance and the apex court can't interfere only to allay apprehension of a party.

Ahead of the second phase of the Gujarat elections, the Election Commission had confirmed that 100 percent of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) were in place for the elections.