Supreme Court
While hearing its ongoing batch of petitions challenging demonetisation, the supreme court refused to extend dates for exemption of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes for certain services, while emphasizing that the government is the best judge,[Representational Image]IANS

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central government to implement e-voting facilities for Non-Resident Indians (NRI) within eight weeks.

This would enable an estimated 11 million NRIs globally to participate in elections without having to travel to India for the purpose. 

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu passed the order after hearing a petition filed by Pravasi Bharat chairman Nagender Chindam, The Times of India reported.

Earlier, in 2010, NRIs were granted voting rights provided they were physically present in their respective constituencies during polls.

The Election Commission (EC) of India had recommended e-ballot voting be allowed to Indians living abroad on Indian passports. The Centre responded in approval to EC's recommendation and submitted a plea to SC in this regard. 

How will NRIs cast their votes?

The e-voting procedure includes filling-up a blank postal ballot paper and then mailing it back to their respective constituencies by post. The EC has reportedly said that there will be very less opportunity to manipulate, rig or violate voter's secrecy in e-voting.

Long ago, NRIs who were out of India for more than six months at a stretch were not allowed to vote in elections.