Proposal of postal/proxy vote for NRI to come up in apex court on 31

Friday, Oct 17, 2014,20:36 IST By metrovaartha A A A

The issue of provision for grant of postal and/or proxy voting right to NRIs settled in different countries, is likely to figure before the Supreme Court here on the next hearing on October 31.
A committee of officials and experts constituted by the Election Commission(EC) under the Chairmanship of Deputy  Election Commissioner(DEC) Vinod Zutshi for examining the  scope and viability of the move, had submitted its report  before the apex court yesterday.    The hearing in the cases related to the issue, is posted for October 31, a Commission spokesman said here today.
In the submission before the Court, the EC panel has held that the country can consider granting voting rights for Non-Resident Indians(NRIs) either by postal ballot or the proxy voting.
The Committee that comprised officials from the EC, MEA, NIC and IT experts, has suggested that either the postal ballot could be considered for NRIs or the option of proxy voting could be a viable option for the purpose of extending voting right to them.
However, the panel did not favour online e-voting, the Commission sources said.    The e-ballot paper could be provided to NRIs electronically.    However, after casting vote, the voter should send back the postal ballot, in hard copy format, to the returning/polling officers by post.
For adoption of the scheme, the Committee suggests that in  the initial phase the scheme should be subjected to proofing and/or validation in a couple of constituencies in the state assembly polls as pilot project, then should it be extended further in more assembly constituencies and finally in the parliamentary polls.
The other option that could be considered is proxy voting in which NRIs should be given opportunity to appoint a proxy to cast vote on his/her behalf.
The scheme, if finally gets clearance from the Court and/or  the Government, would meet the aspirations of several lakhs of  people migrated to different countries from states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab.