Month: May 2009

NRI fights for voting rights

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NRI fights for voting rights

By BEGENA P PRADEEP, Posted on » Sunday, May 31, 2009

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=251855

BAHRAIN resident Sihas Babu is hoping to rewrite Indian law by winning the right for millions of people to vote.

The 35-year-old has already filed a landmark case in India against an act in the Indian Constitution, which does not allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to take part in national or state elections.

Although he is effectively waging a one-man campaign, any victory would be celebrated by Indian expatriates around the globe.

He filed a case in the Kerala High Court against India’s Election Comm-ission, the Kerala State Government and Indian Central Government last Monday.

The Indian public can only vote in an election if they live in a constituency in India, while government employees posted abroad are the only expats who can vote.

Mr Babu, a manager at a building materials company, told the GDN he decided to file the case after flying home to vote in recent parliamentary elections, only to find his name had been taken off the electoral roll.

“The clauses in Section 19 and 20 of the Indian Constitution’s R P (Representation of the People) Act, 1950, does not allow us NRIs any voting rights if we have been away from India for more than six months,” he said.

“I went to Kerala on April 9 to take part in the parliamentary elections but was told that my name had been removed from the list of voters.

“The Election Commission’s presiding officer will check with all constituencies if the person is a resident of that particular constituency – this is how my name was removed.

“However, I know of many NRIs whose names are still on the list just because they have the influence with different political parties.

“NRIs play such an important role in developing India and there is so much money coming into the country from Indians working abroad.

“But when it comes to choosing leaders and a government who will be responsible for making decisions affecting NRIs as well, we are nowhere in the picture.

“This is not at all acceptable and it’s about time things changed.

“We should also have the right to choose our leaders.

“The government may argue that NRIs are not being allowed to vote to avoid malpractices of voting with a fake identity and double voting.

“But technology is so advanced these days that such practices can be caught or avoided.”

Mr Babu claims to be the first person to file a case against the Indian government with a view to overhauling its domestic law.

The court has now given the state and central governments, as well as the Election Commission, a month to respond to the case.

“This law was drafted in 1950 and with changing times, necessary amendments should be made,” said Mr Babu.

“I contacted leading Kerala High Court lawyer Kaleeswaran Raj and filed a case on May 25.

“If the concerned parties reject the petition, it is up to the court to pass the verdict of whether to change the clause or not.

“However, if the court rules against me, I will take the case to the Supreme Court of India.”

Mr Babu has lived in Bahrain for around 15 years and is now hoping to drum up support for his case among Indian associations and clubs here.

More links to this news:

http://www.indlaw.com/search/news/default.aspx?9391191f-1933-489c-8456-16176278ce05

If you feel NRIs should have voting rights and support his move, please generate necessary momentum to this move. Mark your opinion (vote Yes/No) in the poll at the left side of this page.

Today in History – 31 May

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1961 Union of South Africa becomes a republic, leaves Commonwealth

1919 1st wedding held in an aircraft (over Houston, Texas)

1917 1st jazz record released (Dark Town Strutters Ball)

1907 Taxis 1st began running in New York City

1879 1st electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition

1790 U.S. copyright law enacted

History created – 30 May

2009 New Waste Collection Service ‘Tandeef’, Launched in Sharjah

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Today in History – 30 May

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1980 1st papal visit to France since 1814

1971 U.S. Mariner 9, 1st satellite to orbit Mars launched

1959 World’s 1st hovercraft (SR-N1) tested at Cowes England

1941 1st anti semitic measures in Serbia

1933 Patent on invisible glass installation

1908 1st federal workmen’s compensation law approved

1901 Memorial Day 1st observed in U.S.

1896 1st car accident occurs, Henry Wells hit a bicyclist (New York City)

History created – 29 May

2009 CBSE Announces Grade 10 Exam Results

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Today in History – 29 May

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1969 Britain’s Trans-Arctic expedition makes 1st crossing of Arctic Sea ice

1951 1st North Pole flight in single engine plane-CF Blair

1916 Official flag of president of U.S. adopted

1884 1st steam cable trams start in highgate

History created – 28 May

2009 Jordan prohibits Red Bull Cola, citing German ban

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Hope you all enjoy reading in brief what happened this day in history. Looking at each of those events, allow us to travel back many years and imagine what was done then and how far we travelled till this date. Thank you in advance to receive your comments, if any.

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പ്രവാസി ഇന്ത്യക്കാര്‍ക്ക് വോട്ടവകാശത്തിനുള്ള ഹര്‍ജിയില്‍ നോട്ടീസ്

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പ്രവാസിക്ക് വോട്ടവകസ്ത്തിനായുള്ള ഈ ഹര്‍ജിയെ നിങ്ങള്‍ അനുകൂലിക്കുന്നുവോ? പ്രവാസിക്ക് വോട്ടവകാശം വേണോ?

ഇടതു ഭാഗത്തുള്ള പോള്ളില്‍ പങ്കെടുത്തു നിങ്ങളുടെ നയം വ്യക്തമാക്കൂ

നിങ്ങള്‍ പറയൂ

വേണം
വേണ്ട

No News edition 18 Dt 27 May 2009 Total Quality – are we all in for it together?

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Today in History – 28 May

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1998 Pakistan tests underground nuclear weapons, sparking fears of a nuclear conflict with India

1929 1st all color talking picture “On With the Show” exhibited (New York City)

1926 U.S. Customs Court created by congress

1742 1st indoor swimming pool opens (Goodman’s Fields, London)

1664 1st Baptist Church organizes (Boston)

History created – 27 May

2009 UAE committed to welfare of persons with special needs

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Hope you all enjoy reading in brief what happened this day in history. Looking at each of those events, allow us to travel back many years and imagine what was done then and how far we travelled till this date. Thank you in advance to receive your comments, if any.

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PG Dip in English for Communication at Kerala

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PG Dip in English for Communication at Kerala

April 23: Applications have been invited for P G Diploma in English for Communication programme at University of Kerala. Those with degree are eligible to apply for this 8-month long part time course. Applications can be had from the Institute of English and will be accepted till 4th June. Entrance test will be held on 30th June 2009.

Certificate programme in Health & Sanitation at ‘Kerala’

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Certificate programme in Health & Sanitation at ‘Kerala’

The Centre for Continuing Education and Extention has invited applications for Certificate programme in Health & Sanitation. Those who have passed SSLC are eligible to apply. The course duration is one month and the fees is Rs 1000. Apply before 28th May 2009. For more information call 0471-2302523