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The Supreme Court today (Friday, May 3) said it would hear next week a review plea filed by 21 Opposition leaders seeking further increase in random matching of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with EVMs in the ongoing 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Opposition parties are asking for cross-checking at least 50% votes using Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail slips, PTI reported.

The top court on April 8 had directed the Election Commission of India to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one booth to five polling booths per Assembly segment.

The court had said this practice will ensure the “greatest degree of accuracy, satisfaction” in the election process.

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Opposition leaders led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu sought the review of the apex court’s order, saying the “increase from 1 to 5 is not a reasonable number and does not lead to satisfaction desired by this court”.

The plea was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for petitioners, told the bench that the review plea be listed for hearing next week.

The bench accepted his submission and said the matter will be heard next week.

The Election Commission had earlier filed an affidavit in the top court citing logistical difficulties in verifying 50% VVPAT slips, claiming it would delay the announcement of results by six days.

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The parties that have approached the court include the Congress, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, AamAadmi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Derek O’Brien for the Trinamool Congress, Farooq Abdullah for the National Conference, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, Sharad Yadav’s Loktantrik Janata Dal, and the DravidaMunnetraKazhagam

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