NEW DELHI: IN a major relief to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), the Union government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it is ready to amend the election law to allow them to cast their vote through e-voting without having to fly from their respective countries.
In e-ballot voting, a blank postal ballot paper is sent electronically to the voter, who has to fill it and mail it by post to their constituency.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and justice D Y Chandrachud considered the statement of attorney general K K Venugopal 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 voting rights to them.
The attorney general also informed the bench that a group of ministers held a meeting on Thursday to examine various aspects of the issue, including amending the law. The court has now given the AG two weeks time to inform when the law is likely to be amended.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Nagender Chindam, who is the chairman of London-based Pravasi Bharat organisation and other NRIs including Shamsheer VP on the issue.
Earlier, the Centre had said that the draft Bill to provide voting rights to NRIs through postal ballots would be further revised before it was tabled in Parliament. 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.