Not interfering, let counting proceed as per norm, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused last-minute interference with the scheduled counting of votes for the Assembly elections to five states and declined to give an urgent hearing to a plea that sought random matching of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with EVM verification in more polling booths, and before counting begins.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana turned down the prayer to hear it on Wednesday after the Election Commission said that it is following the apex court’s judgment on VVPAT slip verification, and that officials have already been trained according to this.

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“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, after senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the EC, explained the poll panel’s stand. The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli, said the petition will be considered in the regular course.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Meenakshi Arora had sought an urgent hearing on Wednesday.

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