Voting rights for NRIs: SC gives govt 8 weeks to work on proxy voting, e-ballot modalities

The poll panel had ruled out the possibility of allowing NRIs to vote through the Internet.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 14, 2015 5:52 am
supreme court, PL Narsimha, NRI voting rights The poll panel had ruled out the possibility of allowing NRIs to vote through the Internet or at diplomatic missions abroad for the time being.

The Supreme Court on Monday granted the government eight more weeks to work out modalities and other aspects to allow proxy voting and e-ballots for NRIs during elections.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India H L Dattu adjourned a clutch of petitions on the matter after the government asked for more time to devise modalities. Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha told the bench that the legislative process would take some time and hence the matter should be called later.

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The first petition in this matter was filed by Nagender Chindam, who is also the chairman of Pravasi Bharat organisation. “To see our struggle move another step closer to its goal is a matter of huge pride for us. I am so grateful to the apex court for taking up this issue. We are very hopeful that everything will work out in our favour,” Chindam said after the hearing.

The government has accepted the Election Commission’s recommendation that the option of voting through proxy or an e-postal ballot system could be considered for NRIs, who want to cast their vote during elections in India. A committee had been set up to devise the modalities of its implementation.

Earlier, an EC panel had recommended allowing voting for the NRIs through proxy and e-postal ballot. The poll panel had ruled out the possibility of allowing NRIs to vote through the Internet or at diplomatic missions abroad for the time being.

The EC has, however, rejected another plea to allow inter-state migrants to also have options of postal, proxy or e-ballot to enable them vote for their native constituencies.

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