copies of their photographs which are scanned for making EPIC; (iii) booth level officers are
appointed by the Commission to collect photographs and make EPIC of all voters; (iv) 25th
January has been declared as the National Voters’ Day to focus on enrolment of voters and
making EPIC; (v) special publicity campaign is undertaken to inform electors of the procedure of
preparation of EPIC; and (vi) instruction has been issued that the EPIC number once issued will
be valid throughout the elector’s life even if address changes.
Voting Rights to the Citizens of India Living Abroad
Section 19 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 provides that every person who is not
less than eighteen years of age on the qualifying date and is ordinarily resident in constituency
shall be entitled to be registered in the electoral rolls for that constituency. The meaning of
“ordinarily resident” is laid down in Section 20 of the said Act. It has been specified under
Chapter-III in the Hand Book for Electoral Registration Officers that a person who has gone out
of the country for business or employment should be treated as having moved out of that place.
Mere ownership or possession of a building or other immovable property will not bestow on the
owner, the residential qualification.
There are a large number of Indian citizens residing outside the country due to various
reasons. They have been persistently demanding for conferring them the voting rights.
The Government considered all aspects of the demand and accordingly introduced the
Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2006 in Rajya Sabha in 2006 to enable the
Indian citizens absenting from their place of ordinarily residence in India owing to their
employment, education or otherwise outside India, to get their names registered in the electoral
rolls of the concerned constituency of their place of ordinarily residence in India as mentioned in
their passport so that they would be in a position to cast their votes in elections to the Lok Sabha
and to the state legislatures in case they happen to be in their constituency at the time of polls.
In pursuance of the recommendations of the Standing Committee, the Government have
withdrawn, with the leave of the Rajya Sabha, the earlier Bill, namely, The Representation of the
People (Amendment) Bill, 2006 introduced on February 27, 2006 in the Rajya Sabha and
introduced a fresh Bill, namely, The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2010 in
August, 2010, , to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1950 to: (a) provide that every
citizen of India, whose name is not included in the electoral roll and who has not acquired the
citizenship of any other country and who is absenting from his place of ordinary residence in
India owing to his employment, education, or otherwise outside India, (whether temporarily or
not), shall be entitled to have his name registered in the electoral roll in the constituency in which
his place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located; (b) provide that the
Electoral Registration Officer shall make corrections of entries in electoral rolls and inclusion of
names in electoral rolls after proper verification; and (c) confer power upon the Central
Government to specify, after consulting the Election Commission of India, by rules, the time
within which the name of persons referred to in sub-paragraph above shall be registered in the
electoral roll and the manner and procedure for registering of such persons in the electoral roll.
The said Bill has been enacted as the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2010.
In pursuance of the provisions of the said Act the Central Government, in consultation with the
Election Commission prepared and published the Registration of Electors (Amendment) Rules,
2011 on February 3, 2011 and Registration of Electors (Second Amendment) Rules 2011 on
February 23, 2011. The Central Government has issued necessary notification bringing the Act