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HomePoliticsIndiaGovt to amend the electoral law to allow NRIs to vote

Govt to amend the electoral law to allow NRIs to vote

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Delhi: A bill to amend the electoral law to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to vote through postal or e-ballots would be introduced in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, the today informed the Supreme Court.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and and D Y Chandrachud considered the submission of the and acceded to its request that the hearing on petitions seeking voting rights for NRIs, be adjourned.

Lawyer P K Dey, appearing for the 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 K K Venugopal had told the 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 had said that in principle, it was agreeable to the recommendations made in the report prepared by a 12- member committee led by the deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi to explore the feasibility of alternative options for voting by overseas electors.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Nagender Chindam, the chairman of -based Pravasi Bharat organisation and other NRIs including Shamsheer V P.

The apex court had said it could not order the legislature to make or amend a law within a particular timeframe and had granted time to the to effect changes in the statute to extend voting rights to NRIs through postal or e-ballots.

It was submitted in one of the pleas that in Kerala, 70 per cent of the people were NRIs who should be given this right keeping in view their contribution to the country.

The PILs have said that 114 countries, including 20 Asian nations, have adopted external voting. It said external voting could be held by setting up polling booths at diplomatic missions or through postal, proxy or electronic voting.

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