Govt to push bill for NRIs to vote
New Delhi: A bill to amend the electoral law to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to vote through postal or eballots will be introduced in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Friday.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission of the Centre and acceded to its request that the hearing on petitions seeking voting rights for NRIs, be adjourned.
Lawyer PK Dey, appearing for Centre, sought adjournment for six months on the ground that the Bill would be tabled in the Winter Session. However, the bench deferred the hearing by 12 weeks.
On July 21, Attorney General KK Venugopal had told the apex court that NRIs could not be allowed to vote by merely changing the rules made under the Representation of People (RP) Act and a Bill was needed to be introduced in Parliament to amend the Act itself to grant the voting rights.
The court had on July 14 asked the Centre to decide whether it would amend the electoral law or rules to allow NRIs to vote by postal or eballots in the polls in the country, taking note of the fact that the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) were agreeable to the report of a panel that NRIs might be allowed to vote.
The poll panel had said the move to allow NRIs to use proxy voting on the lines of defence personnel and e-ballot facility would require changes either in the RP Act or in the rules made under the Act.