NRI voting rights: Election commission asks Delhi Police to investigate ‘fake news’

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To vote, NRIs need to go come down to their constituencies with original passport.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday filed a complaint with the Delhi Police, asking it to track down those spreading “fake news” that NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) can cast their vote online in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The ECI said its logo was used on social media to “mislead” people. The “fake news” was in violation of IPC Section 505 dealing with rumour-mongering and attempts to spread alarm among people.

On February 21, an ECI spokesperson said no such facility had been extended to NRIs. “If it happens, it needs amendment to the Representation of the People Act. No such amendment has taken place,” he said.As of now, overseas Indians have to register as voters, come to India, go to their constituency with the original passport issued to them when they had gone abroad and cast their votes.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, there are about 3.1 crore NRIs living in different countries.

An expert committee of the ECI had said no to e-voting for NRIs but approved proxy voting.

A bill to extend proxy voting rights to NRIs was passed in the Lok Sabha recently, but it is pending in the Rajya Sabha. It is set to lapse on the dissolution of the present Lok Sabha on June 3.

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