Supreme Court Queries Centre, Assam on Re-verification of NRC

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People get their names checked on the draft list at a National Register of Citizens (NRC) Centre in Nagaon, after an additional exclusion list comprising the names of 1,02,462 persons to the draft NRC was published in Assam, on June 26, 2019. — IANS

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Centre and the Assam government’s request seeking extension on the publication of the final NRC. The NRC is scheduled for publication on July 31.

On Tuesday, the Centre and the State of Assam made an urgent mention before the Chief Justice of India for an extension of the deadline for the final publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) from July 31, 2019, to a “future date” to conduct a “sample re-verification process”.

According to the petitions, the Central and state governments both led by the BJP want a 20 per cent sample re-verification of the names included in the districts bordering Bangladesh and a 10 per cent sample re-verification in the other districts.

On Friday, appearing for the Centre and Assam, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, said: “We cannot afford to become the refugee capital in the world.” He demanded extension for re-verification.

Mehta contended that there was a growing perception that exclusions and inclusions had been made in the list in a wrong manner.

“Apparently, there are more wrong inclusions on the list due to corrupt practices by lower level officers. Therefore, we need re-verification. We have experienced this wrongful inclusion in districts sharing the border with Bangladesh,” Mehta argued vehemently, highlighting the gravity of the matter, reports IANS.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi made an oral observation that NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela’s report claimed that nearly 80 lakh names had already been verified.

“In such a scenario, why is there a need for a sample re-verification? If we are satisfied that verification has been done properly, then there is no need for a sample re-verification, don’t you think,” the CJI shot back at Mehta.

To this, Mehta replied that re-verification will help the authorities weed out illegal immigrants who have bribed NRC officials to get their names on the list.

On Thursday, CPI(M) strongly opposed the Central government and Assam government’s petitions in the Supreme Court seeking a sample re-verification of the names included in the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam which was published on July 30, 2018.

“This sudden demand on the eve of the July 31 deadline appears motivated by the agenda of the BJP which seeks to identify citizenship on the basis of religious affiliation,” said CPI(M).

(With inputs from IANS)

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