Highlights of the Bill
- The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2006 seeks to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
- The 1950 Act lays down the conditions for registering as a voter. One of the conditions require a citizen to be “ordinarily resident” in a constituency.
- The Bill expands the definition of “ordinarily resident” to include any person who is away from his residence, temporarily or otherwise, for employment, education or any other purpose.
Key Issues and Analysis
- The 1950 Act allows Indian citizens temporarily living away from their residences to vote. However, “temporarily” has not been defined in the Bill or the Act.
- Unlike in the US, Indian citizens living abroad are not subject to the tax regime of India, but would get the right to vote.
Extending the right to vote to Indian citizens living abroad would also allow them to stand for elections. This could lead to situations where political offices could be held by such individuals.
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