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Government of India Gives Consent to Proxy Voting For Non-Residents

Great relief is granted for Non- Residents, as the Union Cabinet on Wednesday 2nd August 2017 cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians. There will soon be an amendment in the Representation of People Act to make proxy voting a reality for NRIs. Approximately 16 million NRIs will be able to vote in the Indian Elections by appointing another voter residing in their constituency.

Prime Minister of India clearly said that the generations of coming Indians who travel abroad will be different from earlier NRIs. Further he always supported the idea that there should be brain grow and not brain drain. "Though the decision is influential but it will surely benefit the NRI community. The number is not the issue but the step is taken to send out the message," the official said.

In the present situation NRIs have to fly back to India to cast their votes and only 12,000 voters could perform it. The senior government official said that the government taken two options, i.e. to send them ballot papers electronically and receive the same back after the voter posts it to the nearest embassy treating them as postal ballots and the second option was to allow vote by proxy like in case of service personnel in India.Overseas electors will have to appoint a nominee afresh for each election - one person can act as proxy for only one overseas voter. Overseas electors will have to appoint a nominee afresh for each election - one person can act as proxy for only one overseas voter.

Apex Court Imposes hundred Percent Penalty On Illegal Mining

The Supreme Court of India on August 2, 2017 has asked the mining firms carrying out illegal mining activities in Odisha to pay 100 percent penalty to the state with effect from 2000-01. The matter was brought to the notice by a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause. Expressing concern over the increasing illegal mining causing rampant environmental degredation, a two judge bench has asked the Central Government to take a look and make necessary amendments in the National Mineral Policy, 2008.

Bench has asked the centre to complete the exercise relating to National Mineral Policy, 2008 by December 31.Bench also directed the mining companies to deposit the penalty amount on or before 31st December. The amount deposited will be utilized for the welfare activities of the tribals in the affected districts.

However, the bench has not directed any Central Bureau of Investigation "CBI" probe into the matter. The bench is of the view that the need of the hour is to learn lessons from the past so that such rampant illegal mining activities are not repeated in the state or in any other parts of the country.

Bench emphasized that the minerals extracted without environmental or forest clearance will attract provisions of S.21(5) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957. Mining activities carried on after January 7,1998 without clearance is illegal under the provisions of the Act.

Bench has directed setting up of an expert panel under the guidance of retired judges of apex court to identify the lapses and recommend measures so that these activities are not repeated in the state or in any other parts of the country.

3 August 2017
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