Ahead of the State Assembly polls, the Supreme Court today dismissed the petitions filed by Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Sachin Pilot, which prayed for specific directions to be issued to the Election Commission regarding voters list and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)..The Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan rejected the plea of the Congress leaders to direct the Election Commission to provide the voters list in text format..The two petitions were filed ahead of the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan..The petitions claimed that there was a large number of duplicate voters existing on the voters list and prayed that the same be made available in the text format in order to facilitate scanning of the names against the list..Kamala Nath had claimed in his petition that as many as 60 lakh names on the voters list in Madhya Pradesh were duplicate. He had a made a representation before the Election Commission in this regard..During the course of the proceedings, it was submitted by Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, representing the Election Commission, that a large number of duplicate entries from the voters list were already weeded out by the EC before the issue was taken up by the Congress party leaders..Additionally, the petitions filed by the two Congress leaders also prayed for the VVPAT slips to be verified with votes counted in at least 10 per cent of polling stations in each Assembly constituency/Assembly segment, selected randomly..Senior Advocates and fellow Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal represented the petitioners in this matter seeking directions to be issued to the Election Commission for enabling “free and fair elections”..The Court, in its judgment, observed that as part of due process, the ECI prepares adraft voters’ list in an attempt to weed out duplicate entries and the list is then published on the website to enable representation to be made of those aggrieved. The same list is also given to political parties, the Court noted and said,.“There is no doubt about the bona fides of the ECI. It is a matter of record that in the last 25-30 years, ECI has built up the reputation of an impartial body which strives to hold fair elections. It is a Constitutional Authority and has been discharging its functions quite satisfactorily. People of this country, by and large, trust this institution for its impartial manner of discharging its functions.”.On the issue of verification of VVPAT slips, the Court found that similar petitions with identical prayers had been dismissed by this Court earlier while also observing that a similar petition before the Gujarat High Court had alos been dismissed. Keeping this in mind, the Court asserted that it was not inclined to etertain this prayer, thereby dismissing the petition..Five states go to polls at the end of this year; the elections in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 28 while Rajasthan votes on December 7..Read the judgment below.