Proxy votes for NRIs is govt’s call, says Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Tuesday winded up its proceedings going on for the last nine years on a PIL seeking its direction to make provision for NRIs and migrant workers to cast their votes through proxy voting or postal ballot and left it for the Centre to take a call on the issue.
Noting that the Centre had already introduced a bill in Parliament on the issue, which was passed by Lok Sabha but lapsed in Rajya Sabha, a bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi said the government was conscious of the issue raised in the petition and the Centre would take a decision.
With attorney general R Venkataramani assured the court that “every step will be undertaken to make overseas Indians and migrant labourers part of electoral process”, the bench disposed of the case which was filed in 2013.
The court has passed various orders in the last nine years which resulted in the Centre introducing the bill.
In August 2018, Lok Sabha passed a bill that proposed to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to enable overseas electors to appoint proxies to cast their votes in elections to Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
As petitioners pleaded the court to keep the matter pending and nudge the Centre to frame law, the bench said it cannot issue a mandamus to the legislature or executive and disposed of the petitions.