In a relief for over one crore Non-Resident Indians, mostly migrants from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Election Commission of India submitted a report in the Supreme Court on Thursday recommending proxy voting and e-postal ballots as alternatives to remove an “unreasonable restriction” requiring overseas electors to be physically present in their electoral constituencies to vote.
The 50-page report was prepared by a 12-member committee led by Vinod Zutshi, Deputy Election Commissioner, for ‘Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors.’
The report was prepared after wide consultations with political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.
The report comes on a public interest petition filed in the Supreme Court against the “inherent inequality” created by Section 20(A) of the Representation of Peoples (Amendment) Act of 2010. The section insists on the physical presence of an NRI in his local constituency at the time of voting. The petition, filed by P. Shamsheer, a UAE-based medical professional through his counsel Haris Beeran, said only a miniscule of the NRI population actually come home to vote.