Indian expats in Oman to get voting rights

Energy Friday 10/November/2017 14:03 PM
By: Times News Service
Indian expats in Oman to get voting rights

Muscat: Twenty five million non-resident Indians spread across the world will be able to cast their vote in the next Indian polls as the government has decided to give them proxy voting rights..
There are around 670,000 Indians working in Oman.
"The government has decided to give proxy voting rights to NRIs," attorney general K.K. Venugopal told the Supreme Court on Friday.
"An amendment (has to) be made in the relevant central law (the Representation of People Act), and the government intends to introduce a bill in the winter session of Parliament for the purpose," Venugopal informed an apex court bench.
The top court has given the government 12 weeks to carry out the exercise.
The court was hearing separate petitions filed by V.P. Shamsheer, a UAE-based doctor, and Nagender Chindam, chairman of Pravasi Bharat in London, on the issue of according voting rights to NRIs.
These petitions have been pending for three years now.
The Election Commission of India had already recommended that the government take necessary steps to amend the law for NRI voters.
It had prepared a report titled 'Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors' and presented it to the court in October, 2014.
A bench of chief justice J.S. Khehar and justice D.Y. Chandrachud was angry that the government had not made the necessary amendments (of the Act or Rules) in the Representation Of Peoples Act to allow the voting by NRIs despite repeated assurances.