Centre, State makes another move to stall NRC, hearing tomorrow

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The Centre and State today made another abortive bid to stall the NRC as the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta moved an application before the Supreme Court seeking urgent hearing by special branch.

The SG application is in regard to reverification of 20% of border area district of NRC activities and 10% of other districts.

The NRC is to be released on July 31 and this move has been viewed by most in Assam as an attempt to slow down the process.

Following is the exact courtroom conversation between Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and the Solicitor General (SG).

CJI: Why should we grant an extension? We will have it on August 1

SG: But the deadline is on July 31…

CJI: We’ll see

The Chief Justice remains non-committal.  This is second such attempt by Centre and State seeking reverification within a week while CJI is so far adamant on July 31 date.

Government advocates representing Assam Government later told newsmen that the matter would be heard tomorrow. If the reverification is allowed as per the state and centre’s application then releasing the NRC on July 31 would be difficult.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) on Saturday criticized the Centre’s and state government’s application to the Supreme Court demanding a sample re-verification of 10-20 per cent of the names which appeared in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published last year.

Meanwhile, Assam Government Law department said “We submitted it (application) on July 9. Both the Centre and State moved it.” The application has sought a sample re-verification of 20 per cent of the names in districts close to Bangladesh or where the average population growth rate is higher than the normal and 10 per cent in the remaining districts, the official said. He said it was not a new appeal by the state since they had sought the same after the draft NRC was released last year. The government has maintained that a re-verification was needed since the draft came out.

AASU’s general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “The demand at this point of time appears to be a conspiracy to derail and delay the NRC updation process. The governments have demanded it when only a few weeks are left for the final NRC. This has been echoed by the All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) also.

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