NRC will be delayed

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The much expected NRC is not going to publish on July 31 unless Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi stands his ground tomorrow when Supreme Court hears the matter as tremendous pressure is exerted from every quarter, Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan, to extend the date exciting reasons from flood to revision.

The Chief Justice Gogoi is all set to take a call tomorrow on the urgent application of the State and centre as both are going to press hard for postponement of the publication date.

“With Chief Justice of India retiring on October and tomorrow’s court decision would be crucial as Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has all along been hailed as the chief architect of the NRC and naturally he would like to see it published within his tenure said the AASU Adviser Samujjal Kr Bhattacharya.

But the Centre and the State think opposite and feel that there are discrepancies in the NRC  process and at least 20% revision in the bordering districts are necessary. The union minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed the house that a petition, signed by about 25 lakh applicants was submitted to the Centre and the President, demanding an extension of the deadline to correct the anomalies.

The AASU, AAMSU and KMSS are not happy and they allege that the Centre wants to delay the whole process of NRC in the name of revision so that Mr Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s term is over.

The BJP is keen to have the NRC based on 1951 but this NRC is being updated based ion 1971 as per the Assam Accord. There is a petition challenging the very basis of 1971 and the matter was sent to a constitutional bench but that has not been set up for past few months prompting petitioners Asom Jatiya Mahasabha of malafide.

As Mr Justice Gogoi himself referred the matter to a Constitution bench before he became the Chief Justice but when he became the Chief Justice, the matter has been kept hanging waiting for a decision. The Centre and State would like to have that matter be sorted as both want the NRC updation on the basis of 1951.

“We are unhappy that Chief Justice of India has not constituted the Constitution bench to look into the petition that NRC should be done on the basis of 1951, not 1971,” said Mr Motiur Rahman of Asom Jatiya Mahasabha, the Petitioner.

There is a realization that 1971 based scan of NRC did not yield desired results and hence a decision in regard of 1951 from the Constitution bench was badly awaited.

“This could be the reason why Centre was pushing for an extension so that Mr Gogoi retires and the NRC process could be stalled legally and the 1951 angle was examined first through the Constitution bench,” said an AASU leader seeking anonymity.

Meanwhile, in a move that is likely to have wider ramifications, the Centre is mulling to introduce legislation to make the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) exercise irreversible.

According to highly placed sources, the legislation being proposed to be introduced in the Parliament will make it legally binding on any government to take forward the NRC update process. The Bill is also likely to have a provision to extend the NRC update process countrywide, a promise the BJP has been making.

Further, the Centre has decided to reintroduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, sources added.

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