Coming down heavily upon the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government over the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) process, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Centre is hell bent on not allowing the process to go on.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had filed a plea in the apex court seeking to stall the NRC process for two weeks keeping in mind the role of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the election duty. Responding to the same, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi said that it seems the MHA is putting in efforts to destroy the NRC process.
Without mincing its words, the bench said that the central government is not cooperating in the NRC process and reiterated that July 31 deadline for the completion of NRC exercise will not be extended.
In order to ensure that NRC process continues, the top court asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to consider exempting certain state officers from election duty.
Earlier, on January 24, the top court had said the same thing that the July 31 deadline for the completion of NRC exercise cannot be extended and had asked the state government, the NRC co-ordinator and the EC to ensure that the NRC process is not slowed down due to the upcoming general elections.
The draft NRC for Assam was published on July 30, 2018. According to The Times of India, of the 3.29 crore people, the names of 2.89 crore people were included and the names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
The Congress has always criticised the BJP for botching up the NRC process.
“Congress initiated the NRC in 2005 in consultation with student bodies and other organisations from the state of Assam to identify illegal immigrants, but under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the NRC process is botched up,” Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi had said last year.
A similar view was given by his father and former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who asserted that NRC is Congress’ baby but the way the list has been prepared, it has failed the purpose of this exercise in the first place.