Is SC’s decision on VVPAT checking a setback for the opposition?

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    In a big setback to a delegation of 21 opposition parties, the Supreme Court has rejected the plea filed by them seeking a review of its previous order of 5% checks. The plea requested the SC to direct the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs by 50%. Earlier, the SC had increased it from one to five (polling booths per assembly segment).

    Led by Andhra Pradesh CM, Chandrababu Naidu, the opposition accepted the judgement but said that they will continue their efforts to bring in transparency and fairness in the system.

    The bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, dismissed the plea by saying that they were not interested to modify the order.

    India is a complex country and it is extremely important that elections are conducted in a just and non-intrusive manner. It is for this reason that EVM’s were introduced and a combination with VVPAT’s only helps make the system robust and avoid mistakes, political mudslinging and booth capturing.

    Yes, the opposition has a point that an increase will only help bring in more confidence and satisfaction in the righteousness of the system, however, a sudden increase, that too, after majority of the election phases are over, can be late in the day.

    With the country’s largeness in mind, implementing a new system at the last minute could have its fallouts.

    According to them, even if not 50% but a balanced 20-30% increase could also make the peoples belief in the system’s effectiveness and efficiency, higher.

    The Supreme Court, however, would take a concerted decision. As a country we have to honour it and move ahead in the best possible manner.