Union Cabinet clears proposal to extend proxy voting for NRIs

Aug 3, 2017 12:43 IST

Cabinet clears proxy voting for NRIs=The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians by amending electoral laws. This was informed by a senior government functionary.

For overseas Indians, the Representation of the People Act needs to be amended to include proxy voting as other means to cast their votes. While NRIs and overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies where they are registered, according to the proposal, they will also be allowed to use the option of proxy, which as of now is only available to service personnel.

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An expert committee in the Election Commission working on the issue had, in 2015, forwarded the legal framework to the law ministry to amend electoral laws to allow overseas Indians use proxy voting.

The Union Cabinet has also cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians by amending electoral laws. This was informed by a senior government functionary.

For overseas Indians, the Representation of the People Act needs to be amended to include proxy voting as other means to cast their votes. While NRIs and overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies where they are registered, according to the proposal, they will also be allowed to use the option of proxy, which as of now is only available to service personnel.

An expert committee in the Election Commission working on the issue had, in 2015, forwarded the legal framework to the law ministry to amend electoral laws to allow overseas Indians use proxy voting.

Comment: The proposal after turning into a law will enable about 16 million NRIs to vote in Indian elections by appointing proxies residing in their constituencies to cast their votes.

Background

Earlier on 21 July 2017, the Supreme Court sought to know from the Union Government the time it would require for bringing a bill amending the Representation of People Act to allowing NRIs vote from their overseas locations. In its earlier hearing, the highest court of India had asked the government to take a call whether it wanted to amend the Act or the Rules to decide on the modalities of the NRI voting from abroad.

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