A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu granted four weeks time to the government to respond to the proposal prepared by a 12-member committee led by Vinod Zutshi, Deputy Election Commissioner, for 'Exploring Feasibility of Alternative Options for Voting by Overseas Electors'.
In the report, the committee has said it is of the view that e-postal ballot, where blank postal ballot is transferred electronically to NRIs and returned by post, can be employed after validation of the process and pilot implementation in one or two constituencies and then be scaled up for parliamentary elections if found feasible, practicable and meeting the objectives of free and fair polls.

The committee comprising officials from the EC, Law Ministry and MEA had gathered opinions from all sections before submitting a report to the apex court.
The poll panel contended that the move to allow NRIs use proxy voting on the lines of defence personnel and e-ballot facility will require changes in the law and a legislative framework.
According to the provisions of the Representation of People Act, a person who is a citizen of India and who has not acquired the citizenship of any other country and is otherwise eligible to be registered as a voter and who is absent from his place of ordinary residence in India owing to employment, education or otherwise is eligible to be registered as a voter in the constituency in which his place of residence in India, as mentioned in his passport, is located.
The apex court had earlier asked the EC to place before it the report of the committee set up by it to "study various available options for the purpose of NRI voting".
The court was hearing a batch of PILs in which it has been contended that the existing provision which mandates NRI voter to be physically present in the constituency to exercise his vote was discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights.
The petitioners, including NRI Shamsheer VP, have submitted that over one crore people will be entitled to cast their vote if NRIs are allowed to vote from overseas.
The PILs said 114 countries have adopted external voting and among them are 20 Asian countries. It said the external voting could be by setting up polling booths at the diplomatic mission, or by postal, proxy or electronic voting.

Latest News from India News Desk