SC queries Centre, Assam on re-verification of NRC

Photo: IANS

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 citing 20 per cent re-verification of the draft NRC data to rule out discrepancies. The NRC is scheduled for publication on July 31.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and Assam, 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.

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 the NRC officials to get their names on the list.

Mehta requested the bench to extend the deadline for publication of final Assam NRC from July 31 to a future date saying that there is a growing perception that many exclusions and many more inclusions have been made wrongly.

He said that lakhs of illegal immigrants may have included in the list, especially in the districts bordering Bangladesh as the problem in these area is are more prevalent.

Mehta said the wrongful inclusions may be because they may have come under local influences.

He said that there should be no room for a lack of confidence in an NRC exercise that takes away the rights of the people.

The court adjourned the matter on July 23 for further hearing.

Earlier at many occasions, the court had reiterated that the July 31 deadline for the publication of final Assam NRC draft was non-negotiable and it should not be met at the expense of those who have filed claims for inclusion of their names in the NRC.

Published on: July 19, 2019 at 14:15 IST

IANS

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