Reply to poll panel report on NRIs: SC to Govt

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to consider and respond on the report of the committee set up by the Election Commission that has recommended electronic voting or proxy voting by NRIs staying overseas.

Justice HL Dattu and Justice AK Sikri asked Additional Solicitor General L Nageswara Rao to take instructions from the central government and revert in four weeks.

A 12-member committee set up by the Election Commission
has recommended that NRIs staying overseas could be permitted to cast their vote electronically or by proxy.

The original petitioner, Mr Nagender Chindam of Pravasi Bharat, London had pleaded to the Honourable Court in its submission to issue guidelines to the Government of India and the Election Commission to set up online registration process, which encourages millions of Indian citizens to register as an overseas voter. Secondly, To avoid risk of computer virus/ software related problems then the Election Commission may be directed to consider setting up of single registration address(Single Window/ one ERO address) for all NRIs to be registered by sending the relevant documents by post to single point contact .

The committee was set up in the wake of the petition filed by Mr. Nagender Chindam, a London based NRI seeking rights to exercise the franchise from wherever they are staying abroad. On a phone from London Mr Chindam said “We are happy to see all the step forwards in this case.​Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar were non-resident Indians at certain point of time in their lives, It will be tribute to our founding fathers of our greater democracy if this is successful. We are very positive about it, Looking forward to judgement from Honourable Supreme Court of India.

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