No movement for electronic voting: Law Minister Kiren Rijiju

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There are no proposals to introduce electronic voting in the upcoming general elections, Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.

In a written response to a starless question from BJP member Dushyant Singh, who had asked the Justice Minister if he was aware of an experiment in e-voting using a smartphone-based application by the Election Commission of Telangana State and whether such technology could be used for parliamentary elections, Mr. Rijiju replied in the negative.

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“No such proposal has been received from the Election Commission of India,” he said, adding that the government had not invested in any research and development on such technology.

To another question about whether the government has taken note of the use of Block Chain technology to conduct elections in foreign countries, Mr. Rijiju answered in the negative.

Responding to another question during Question Time, the Minister of Justice admitted that COVID-19 has affected the justice delivery mechanism and that many young lawyers are facing many difficulties due to the unavailability of physical hearings in many locations.

He said the government has consulted with the Chief Justice of India to come up with alternative solutions like virtual hearings or hybrid mode hearings which combine virtual and physical hearings.

Referring to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), he pointed out that 90% of cases are pending in lower courts.

“We take all steps with the concept of doorstep justice, especially mobile courts or Lok Adalat, and hear cases on the spot. I make sure the hearing in rural areas is done in a way that people don’t really have to struggle to get basic minimum justice,” he said.

Mr. Rijiju also informed the Chamber of an initiative by NITI Ayog to formulate a framework for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in the country, although it is still in its infancy.

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