SC refuses to extend NRC deadline in Assam

By Sarkaritel May 8, 2019 18:29

New Delhi, May 8  The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to extend the deadline for the finalization of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

The court said the process must be completed on or before July 31 and the process could not be delayed even by a day.

In order to meet the deadline, the court allowed State Coordinator Pratik Hajela “to mention the matter before the Registrar (Judicial) during summer vacation in case urgent hearing is required”.

Although the hearing of the case was brief, the NRC Coordinator focused on the major factors delaying the process.

Hajela told the court that most of those who had objections regarding their names being excluded from the first draft have failed to show up to contest their claims.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Hajela to “be brave and keep the law in mind”, and complete the NRC process within the stipulated deadline.

The apex court had come down heavily on both the Assam government and the Centre over delays in the process of publishing of the NRC along with the identification and deportation of foreigners from the state.

Chief Justice Gogoi had criticized the Centre and the Ministry of Home Affairs’ plea requesting suspension of the NRC work during the general elections.

The Assam government had in 2018 published a draft NRC which excluded the names of over 40 lakh people due to some discrepancies in their documents to prove their citizenship.

Although over 36 lakh people whose names were excluded from the draft NRC applied afresh for inclusion of their names, the officials engaged in the NRC updation process received over two lakh complaints against inclusion of names in the draft NRC.

The officials, who have taken up the complaint cases for hearing from Monday, are now in a dilemma as the complainants are not present during the hearing.

“I live in Guwahati. Somebody filed a complaint against me so I came here to appear before the NRC centre. I am a genuine Indian citizen and it is an insult to me and my family when there is a question raised against me and my family. However, it is disgusting to see that the complainant who filed the complaint against me is absent. When I asked for the address of the complainant, the NRC officials gave me a vague address,” said Har Kumar Goswami, a resident of Rampur village in Sarbhog area of Barpeta district, Assam.

“This clearly indicates that some people have filed complaints against people without any basis. And the NRC officials have also accepted the complaints without any verification,” said Goswami, adding that innocent genuine Indian citizens are being harassed in the name of NRC updation.

By Sarkaritel May 8, 2019 18:29