Supreme Court asks Centre to apprise it on issue of NRI voting in polls

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to apprise it within a week as to whether it is going to amend the election law or rules for enabling non-resident Indians (NRIs) to vote in polls.

Published: 14th July 2017 01:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2017 08:33 AM   |  A+A-

EVM, Votin

Image used for representational purpose.

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday faced a tough time before the apex court over its failure to take a stand on giving e-voting rights to 25 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) across the world during the elections.  

Once e-vote is allowed, NRIs will not have to fly home to vote.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud asked the Centre to respond to the issue within a week if it planned to amend the Act or concerned rules under the Representation of People’s Act.

“The petition is pending since 2014 and every year since then,  the same submission from your side has been made. This is not the way government works,” the Bench told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand who was appearing for Centre.

The Bench took note of the fact that both Centre and Election Commission were in agreement to give voting rights to NRIs, but no step had been taken so far.  

On this, ASG replied, “We in principle had agreed to the recommendations made by the 12 member committee and is only exploring the feasibility of alternative options for voting by NRIs.”  

The Bench has now posted for further hearing on July 21.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by two non-resident Indians  (NRIs) Shamsheer VP, an NRI from Kerala and Nagender Chindam, chairman of the UK-based Pravasi Bharat in 2013. 

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