New Delhi :
The Supreme Court on Friday declined Congress’s plea to direct the Election Commission to match Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip with the results from at least 25 percent EVMs deployed across Gujarat, which went to polls in two phases on December 9 and 14.
The top court dismissed the plea and refused to interfere in the Gujarat Assembly elections.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Mishsra, Justice Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that they can not substitute the decision of the Election Commission unless Congress demonstrates that the poll body’s decision is either arbitrary or not in accordance with the law.
The court also said that debate for reform of elections can be done after the poll process is over.
Senior Congress leaders and lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal represented the party in the apex court.
VVPAT machines, print a paper slip showing the voter whom they casted their ballot for. The voters are not allowed to take the slip outside the polling booth. The slip is taken in custody by the polling officers.
The Opposition party moved to the Supreme Court a day after it accused the Election Commission of being a “puppet” of the BJP-led government.
The accusation were made by the Opposition in reference to its allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi violated the model code of conduct by holding a roadshow outside Ahmedabad polling centre where he casted his vote on Thursday during Gujarat’s second phase voting.
Earlier in the day, the Election Commission had directed Gujarat’s chief electoral officer to take action against Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi for giving interview to TV channels a day before the last phase voting.