New Delhi: A petition seeking voting rights for Non-Resident Indians and other people who, at the time of elections, are outside their voting constituency, by the methods like postal ballots, have been issued by the Supreme court to the Union Government and Election Commission of India on February 18. The PIL was filed by Kerala based political activist K. Sathyan.
He stated that a vast majority are temporarily away from their constituency during the elections and these people should be extended the benefit of voting through postal ballots.
According to a report in Live Law, the bench led by Chief Justice of India was first disinclined to admit the pill since voting is not a fundamental right. CJI SA Bobde had said that if a voter stays out of his constituency and does not choose to come for voting then there is no denial of voting rights.
Appearing for the Petitioner, advocate Kaleeswaram Raj argued that a person cannot be forced to choose between their right to vote and right to better employment. “Practice of postal votes can be expanded. They are going outside the country for livelihood,” he added. The bench comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramaniam agreed to examine the plea after the arguments made by the petitioner.
The Petitioner had asked to expand the access of citizens to the electoral process by providing more platforms casting votes by facilitating an option for e-voting, enhancing the existing system of postal voting to other categories, by expanding scope in Section 60 of the 1951Act and by decentralising the voting system by expanding access to voting.
The Petitioner also urged the Court to take the steps needed to ensure a fairer election process.
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