BILL Providing Voting Rights To NRI’s Will Be Tabled In upcoming Rajya Session: Govt

NON Resident Indians may be able to exercise their franchise in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll along with some state legislative assemblies, if the bill is Okayed by the Rajya Sabha in the coming Winter Session of Parliament commencing on December 11. The Centre has  informed the Supreme Court that a Bill to amend electoral law to allow NRIs to vote through postal or e-ballots was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 9 and it is likely to come up in the Rajya Sabha in the upcoming Winter Session. The Government conveyed its intention to Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta which was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Nagender Chindam, chairman of London-based Pravasi Bharat organisation and other Non Resident Indians (NRIs), including Shamsheer UPA.The petitions have said that 114 countries, including 20 Asian nations, have adopted external voting which could be held by setting up polling booths at diplomatic missions or through postal proxy or electronic voting. Once the Bill is passed and enacted, over 25 million overseas Indians/NRIs will be able to vote through postal or e-ballots. NRI voters will have to appoint a nominee afresh for each election and one person can act as proxy for only one overseas voter as per the proposal. The court took note of the fact that the Centre and the Election Commission are agreeable to the report of a panel that NRIs might be allowed to vote. Next hearing on the petitions will be resumed in January.




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