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Govt plans to give proxy voting rights to 25 million NRIs, Supreme Court told

A bill will be introduced in the winter session of Parliament to amend the Representation of People Act, attorney general KK Venugopal informed the court.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2017 15:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,Proxy voting rights,Proxy votes
An election official checks an EVM before leave for the polling station at Mandi on Tuesday. (Birbal Sharma /HT Photo)

The government has decided to give proxy voting rights to over 25 million non-resident Indians (NRIs) spread across the world, attorney general KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Friday.

“An amendment (has to) be made in the relevant central law (the Representation of People Act), and the government intends to introduce a bill in the winter session of Parliament for the purpose,” Venugopal informed an apex court bench.

The top court has given the government 12 weeks to carry out the exercise.

The court was hearing separate petitions filed by VP Shamsheer, a UAE-based doctor, and Nagender Chindam, chairman of Pravasi Bharat in London, on the issue of according voting rights to NRIs. These petitions have been pending for three years now.

The Election Commission of India had already recommended that the government take necessary steps to amend the law for NRI voters. It had prepared a report titled ‘Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors’ and presented it to the court in October 2014.

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 15:07 IST