India Supreme Court dismisses plea for stringent election norms
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India Supreme Court dismisses plea for stringent election norms

India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking changes to the country’s election result verification rules.

The writ petition, filed by a collective of technocrats called “Tech4All,” had sought a change in election result verification rules. It called for the introduction of “100% random physical counting” of the Electronic Voting Machine-Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (EVM-VVPAT) before results of the South Asian country’s recently concluded general elections are declared.

India follows an electronic voting-based system, and the VVPAT mechanism was introduced recently to bring greater transparency and accountability in the vote-counting process. Currently, the rules mandate a VVPAT counting rate of between 0.44 and 2 percent.

Earlier this month the court refused to entertain a writ petition filed by the principal opposition political party, which sought a similar—but less stringent—change in the rules. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said that the Supreme Court is “not inclined” to interfere in the matter.

Judge Arun Mishra said that Tuesday’s PIL was “nonsense” and that the court’s vacation bench will not entertain the petition because “the Chief Justice of India (CJI) bench has already decided on the issue,” adding that “democracy will suffer if we keep doing this.”