India’s top court asks govt to decide on voting norms for NRIs
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) may be able to vote in future elections after India’s Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to take a decision within a week to give them voting rights, according to Indian media reports.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said that the Election Commission (EC) had set up a committee which had examined the issue and submitted a report in October 2014.
It was announced in January 2015 that the government had in principle agreed with the recommendations of the committee.
The bench also recorded that the EC committee had wideranging consultations and recommended the modalities through which NRIs could cast their votes. “The only question, that arises for consideration now is whether the Union of India needs to accept the proposals made in the October 2014 report, which has already been accepted in principle, by way of an amendment of Section 20 and Section 20A of the RP Act or alternatively, by a mere amendment to the rules,” it said.
“On the instant aspect, the Union of India had sought time on November 18, 2016. Further time is again being sought. We afford further opportunity to the Union of India to take a final decision, whether the proposals already accepted by it need to be implemented by way of amending RP Act or the rules framed thereunder,” the bench said.
The bench told additional solicitor general Atmaram Nadkarni to inform it of the government’s decision on July 21.