In a big blow to the Congress, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the party's plea seeking directions to the Election Commission to count and cross verify at least 20 per cent of VVPAT paper trail with the corresponding EVM votes.
The Gujarat unit of the Congress party had moved the Supreme Court alleging rigging of EVMs and VVPATs a day after all the exit polls predicted Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party's win in Gujarat elections.
The development comes in the wake of allegations that EVMs were manipulated using Bluetooth technology during the first phase of polling on December 9. The Congress had complained to the poll panel that three polling booths in Porbandar, a Muslim-dominated area, were hacked. However, the poll panel had rejected these claims.
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for petitioner GPCC secretary Mohammed Arif Rajput said that even the EC has the apprehension and has provided for the counting only at one booth, that makes it 0.00001 per cent of the 50,000 polling booths where voting took place in Gujarat.
Permitting the petitioner to withdraw the plea, the court asked him to move a substantive petition directly to the apex court seeking electoral reforms with regards to Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.