SC Pulls Up Centre On Assam’s NRC, Says Home Ministry Is Trying To Destroy The Process
On January 5, the Supreme Court pulled up the Centre over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. The bench led by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F Nariman said that the centre is not following the National Register of Citizens’ (NRC) process properly and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is coming up with different stories to destroy the process reported Hindustan Times.
NRC is a boiling issue in the Northeast, and it is to register all the legal citizens of the state of Assam. It aims to identify the legal citizens of Assam excluding immigrants from Bangladesh, formerly East Bengal and then East Pakistan. It was first prepared in 1951 and was updated for the first time last year on July 30. The NRC is being updated on basis of those name who appeared in 1951 NRC list or any of the Electoral rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971.
SC pulls centre for stalling NRC process
The court’s wrath comes down after the home ministry’s plea for withdrawal of 167 companies of Combined Armed Police Forces(CAPF) for two weeks from Assam. The ministery claimed that forces would be deployed for the upcoming general elections.
Rejecting the plea and expressing anguish on the same, the bench said the Centre is not cooperating. It further added that it looks like the home ministry is making all these efforts to destroy the NRC process.
“If you want NRC to go on then there are 1,001 ways to do it. NRC work must go on. We are very disappointed,” the SC said, according to The Times of India.
NRC deadline can’t be pushed
After the second draft of NRC came out in July last year, over 4 million of the 32.9 million in Assam were left out of the draft. Following this, the SC had given a deadline to file claims and objections on the inclusion of names for the final NRC list. The initial deadline was December 15. However, it was then extended to December 31, 2018. The final list is supposed to come in July 2019.
Reprimanding the Centre, the bench said that the centre can’t push the deadline of releasing the final list beyond July 31, 2019.
The top court also said that the MHA’s actions were driven by the Lok Sabha elections, that are suppose to happen in May this year. The bench also said that the Ministry has deliberately delayed the NRC process so that it does not affect the election results.
The SC asked the Election Commission to consider exempting certain state officers from election duty to ensure that the NRC process is not hampered.