The Centre Friday informed the Supreme Court that it on the course of making a law to permit non-resident India right to exercise their vote from wherever they are located by e-voting instead of flying back to India to vote at the time of elections.
Additional Solicitor General P.S.Narsimha told the apex court bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra that they needed time as government has already embarked on the course to make law paving way for NRIs to exercise their vote from wherever they are located,
Narsimha said that a cabinet note has been circulated to the concerned department inviting their comments.
However, the issue of granting similar voting rights to migrant workers within the country appears to have run into rough weather with Election Commission resisting it on grounds including that of logistics.
As government said that it was on the course of amending the law, the court adjourned the hearing by eight weeks giving time to the government.
The court was told of the steps being taken by the government in the course of the hearing of pleas by the petitioners Nagender Chindam, Naresh Kumar Hanchate and Shamsheer V.P,
Seeking to expititethe entire matter, senior counsel Dushyant Dave appearing for the petitioners said that 20% of the voters from Kerala r4e NRIs andtheir contribution to national economy was immense.
“NRIs from Kerala contributes so much for India”, Dave told the court.
told the court that the recommendation of the panel set up by the Election Commission could be carried out both by the executive or order or by taking a legislative route.
The apex court January 12 had asked the Centre to take steps for the implementation of e-voting by the NRIs as government then had told the court that it has accepted the recommendation by the Election Commission to allow NRIs to exercise their vote from where ever they are located.
A 12-member committee that was set up by the Election Commission had recommended that NRIs staying overseas could be permitted to cast their vote electronically or by proxy.
These recommendations were given the Committee for Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors.
The committee, had however, rejected the feasibility of NRIs exercising their franchise at the diplomatic missions.
The Committee had also did not favour internet voting till appropriate technology/IT applications and all other vulnerabilities are addressed.