The Supreme Court on Monday favoured increasing the random physical verification of VVPAT slips in the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly polls and told the EC that “no institution should insulate itself from improvement, including the judiciary”.
It was not the question of “casting aspersions”, rather a matter of “satisfaction” of the electorate, the top court said.
It asked the EC to file response as to whether it can increase the number of sample surveys of VVPAT slips from one in each assembly segment for the upcoming general and assembly elections.
The court was hearing a plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders, led by Andhra
Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, seeking that VVPAT slips of at least 50 per cent of voting machines in each assembly constituency be checked randomly in the Lok Sabha elections next month.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta asked the EC to file its reply on affidavit indicating the reasons of its satisfaction that purity of elections can be maintained and is being maintained.
“The Election Commission of India is fully satisfied that the purity of the elections can be maintained and is being maintained. The Election Commission of India shall indicate the above in an affidavit the basis of satisfaction,” the bench said.
It further said, “The Election Commission of India shall also indicate that if the sample survey can be extended to a higher level… The affidavit shall be filed by 4 pm on March 28. The matter is listed for further hearing on April 1.”