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Supreme Court Disposes Petition Seeking Postal Ballot Voting For NRIs And Migrants

Supreme Court Disposes Petition Seeking Postal Ballot Voting For NRIs And Migrants

The Supreme Court recently dismissed a petition asking the Court to direct the Central Government to allow NRIs and migrant labourers to exercise their franchise by voting by postal ballot. The bench, Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Bela M. Trivedi, stated that the matter was not fit to be heard by the court because it had already directed the formation of a committee in this regard.

The Court stated that "What if someone is on business? These are matters which must be dealt with by concerned authorities. To what extent do we keep on giving these kinds of mandamus? Say a unit is on the front, maybe say Indo-China front, there are 600-700 people, the ballot papers are sent through post. That can happen. But let's say there is someone in Kerala who's in the northern part of Kerala and not in his own constituency to cast vote. Do we have any facility for him? Say you're located in Delhi and your vote is in Kerala. What would you do? Would you not travel?"

The bench also took note of a statement from the Attorney General, who stated that the concerned authorities had taken note of the issue and that a solution would be found not only to facilitate voting for NRIs and migrant labourers but also to ensure the integrity of the voting process. The bench went on to say that awareness of the issue had spread to the point of tabling a bill before one of the houses of parliament, which thought it fit to pass the bill as well.

"The purpose with which the petition was filed having been served, we see no reason to entertain it any longer. AG has assured that every step shall be undertaken to see that persons living outside India and migrant labourers are still part of electorate and all steps must be taken to assure that and ensure confidentiality of election. Having recorded this, we dispose of the petition."

The petitioners highlighted that operational creditors based outside India were allowed to pursue insolvency proceedings electronically. The Attorney General for India, R. Venkataramani, submitted that the Centre had already considered the plea and that the Election Commission of India had been apprised of it as well.

Case Details:-

WP(C) No. 80/2013 PIL

Nagender Chindam And Ors. v. UoI And Ors.


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