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Born Tibetan citizens of India to be allowed to vote in Delhi election

Young Tibetan voters are seen at a polling station in Majnu Ka Tila area of Delhi, during the last Delhi election. (Photo courtesy Indian Express/P. Sharma)
Young Tibetan voters are seen at a polling station in Majnu Ka Tila area of Delhi, during the last Delhi election. (Photo courtesy Indian Express/P. Sharma)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec 22, 2014) – Following up on an order issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Feb 2014, the Chief Electoral Office of Delhi has reiterated in a Dec 8 order that children of Tibetan refugees born in India between the cut-off dates of 1950 and 1987 would be eligible for enrollment in the voters’ list for the Delhi Assembly elections. The state election of Delhi is expected to take place in Feb 2015, although dates have not been announced yet.

“According to the order issued to Delhi’s Chief Electoral Office (CEO) by the Election Commission of India (ECI), dated Dec 8, children of Tibetan refugees born in India between the cut-off date of 1950 and 1987, are eligible for enrollment in Delhi,” the PTI news agency Dec 21 quoted Deputy Chief Electoral Officer A K Srivastava as saying.

The report noted that India’s Ministry of Home Affairs was, in principle, against giving voting rights to all refugees living in India. However, the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) concerned should not deny enrollment to children of such Tibetan refugees, the order was cited as saying.

The report cited the ECI guidelines as saying Tibetans born in India on or after Jan 26, 1950, but before Jul 1, 1987, had the right to exercise their franchise. This is because under India’s citizenship law, all those born in the country within this period are citizens, a fact reaffirmed by the High Courts of Delhi and Karnataka in Dec 2010 and Aug 2013 respectively.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Tibetan people are living in India for more then five decades and this decision by the Election Commission is in a right direction. It will not only empower the Tibetans but also help younger Tibetans to participate positively in the Indian democratic process.

    I think it is hight time the GOI should also welcome this decision and give equal right to Tibetan living in India.

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