Despite the Representation of the People Act allowing a Non Resident Indian (NRI) the right to enrol as a voter in India, he/she is not allowed to vote through postal ballots (like defence personnel) or through a more modern e-voting system. This denied them their fundamental rights. On Friday (July 14) the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Centre for this lapse and gave the government a week to decide whether the Act would be amended to allow such people to vote. The bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud studied a report of a panel headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi which said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Centre were, in fact, agreeable to the issue, but action has been missing in this regard.
The action needed was in amending the Act or in the rules made under the Act.
The bench said: “The only question that arises for consideration now is whether the Union of India (UOI) needs to accept proposals made in the report dated October, 2014, which have already been accepted in-principle by way of an amendment of Sections 20 and 20A of the RP Act, 1950, or, alternatively, by a mere amendment of the Rules.
Full Article: Postal ballots for NRIs could be a reality -India Legal.