SC refuses PIL seeking voting rights for NRIs
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today made
it clear that it will not consider PILs concerning policy
matters and declined to entertain a petition seeking voting
rights for non-resident Indians (NRIs).
"How can we decide this issue? This is a policy
matter," a bench, comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and
Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar, said.
The court also noted that since the Bill relating to
grant of voting rights to NRIs is pending with the government,
it would not like to interfere in the matter.
"The Bill is in the offing. We will not interfere at
this stage," the bench said, referring to the Representation
of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2006, which is pending with
The court said since the Bill is pending, the
government will decide whether such rights have to be
conferred upon NRIs or not.
Earlier, when advocate Amar Dave, appearing for
Qatar-based NRI Ahammed Adyottil, was making a submission on
the issue, the bench said "there is a serious implication in
The court said if the right to vote to NRIs is
proposed through statute then why the petition has been filed.
When the advocate said that all other countries permit
voting rights to such persons, the bench said "our law does
"It is for government to decide by making law to grant
right to vote," it pointed out.
The court allowed the petitioners to withdraw the PIL.
The bench, headed by the CJI, was strict on other PILs
which were also relating to policy matters.
It dismissed one such matter in which the petitioner
had sought increase in reservation of seats for women in
"We cannot increase reservation for women in
Parliament. We don't have such powers," the bench said.
It also rejected a plea seeking direction for
government to take steps to prevent accidents on roads.