Congress slams move to delete ineligible names from NRC, says it is contempt of court

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NET News Desk

The directive issued by the Assam National Register of Citizens coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma to delete names of “ineligible persons” from the final NRC document has been denounced by the state Congress as the Supreme Court has not passed any order regarding omission or inclusion of fresh names in the final NRC.

As per reports, the Congress on Friday alleged the NRC Assam coordinator’s recent directive to prepare a list of ‘D-voters’ (doubtful voters) amounts to contempt of court as the Supreme Court’s permission was not taken. Congress leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, said the desire of the people of Assam was fulfilled when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was updated under the apex court’s supervision and both the Centre and the state government share a responsibility towards it.

State Coordinator for NRC, Sarma, had on October 13 asked deputy commissioners and district registrars of citizen registration to prepare a list of “ineligible” people belonging to the categories of DF (declared foreigners)/DV (‘D’ voters)/PFT (pending in Foreigners Tribunals) along with their descendants who have been included in the complete NRC published on August 31, 2019.

DF, DV and PFT expand to declared foreigners, doubtful voters and pending in Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs).

Congress leader Saikia, claimed that the NRC authorities did not obtain permission from the Supreme Court to issue the directive. “Such a directive is tantamount to contempt of the Supreme Court because the incumbent NRC state coordinator (SCNRC) has not taken the court’s leave to issue the directive,” the Congress leader said.

The apex court has not passed any order regarding inclusion or omission of names in the final NRC, he said. Saikia urged the state government to take the initiative to expeditiously start the appeal process pertaining to the final NRC, which was supposed to commence within 120 days of publication of the document on August 31 last year but has remained on hold for over one year.

The final NRC was released on August 31 last year with the exclusion of 19.06 lakh people from it. The apex court had monitored the exercise of updating the NRC of 1951.

Following the publication of the final NRC, almost all stakeholders and political parties criticised it as a faulty document alleging the exclusion of indigenous people and the inclusion of illegal immigrants. On August 31 this year, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said in the Assembly the Assam government had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court for re-verification of 20 per cent names in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent in the remaining parts of the state.

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