The news of NRIs allowed to cast vote online in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls 2019 is fast doing the rounds for quite some time now on various social media sites. And to clear the air around it, the official spokesperson of the Election Commission, Sheyphali Sharan, released a statement on the Twitter, which said, The social media posts informing those who hold an Indian passport, can now vote online, is fake news."
The situation even led the Election Commission to file a police complaint against the fake news to check upon the offenders.
First and foremost in the norms per se elections in India, there are no such provisions that allow online voting, leave alone for the non-resident Indian. And only for personnel from the government department or armed forces, the law allows proxy voting and postal ballots.
NRIs in possession of Indian passport are allowed to cast their vote by registering as an Overseas voter from their own hometown. Nonetheless, when their constituency goes to polls, they still have to be present in person. Also, overseas voters are required to fill Form 6A.
Earlier, in view of the huge NRI population of around 3.1 crore NRIs that are settled across the globe, a provision to allow proxy voting got approval from the special committee of the Election Commission. But as the law in its regard i.e. The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017 didn't passed in the Rajya Sabha, it eventually lapsed.
However to the dismay of the NRIs, they cannot enjoy this basic right to vote from far away and still need to be present in person to cast their vote.