SC raps Centre for trying to suspend NRC for elections

"The Ministry of Home Affairs is hell bent upon not to carry on the NRC and it is destroying all the efforts being made by this court to finalise the NRC," a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi orally said.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Union government for seeking a direction to suspend the process of verification being undertaken for the National Register for Citizens in Assam.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs is hell bent upon not to carry on the NRC and it is destroying all the efforts being made by this court to finalise the NRC," a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi orally said.

The court declined to pass any order on a plea made by Attorney General K K Venugopal to suspend the NRC work as 167 companies of central forces deployed in Assam were to be withdrawn for elections duties elsewhere.

"Do you want us to summon the Home Secretary? The government of India is not cooperating at all. The elections are definitely to be held peacefully and in order. Likewise, the NRC work has to go on peacefully and in order," the bench, also comprising Justice R F Nariman, said.

The court made it categorical once again that the process for publication of final National Register for Citizens in Assam should not go beyond July 31, 2019.

The top court asked the Election Commission to exempt the officers engaged in the NRC work in Assam from poll duties. 

After inquiring from an officer from Home Ministry, the bench said when there are 3000 companies of central forces available in the country why 167 companies can't be spared for the NRC work.

The top court had earlier on January 24 disagreed to a suggestion made by the NRC Coordinator that in view of the engagement of state employees in works related to impending Parliamentary polls, the deadline for final NRC may be stretched to the end of September. 

The court had then said the issue of involvement of state employees in poll-related work and that of NRC must be sorted out by the Coordinator, state government and the Election Commission.

"The preparation of final NRC and the election should receive equal importance and proceed with simultaneously without one affecting the other," the bench said.

The top court is monitoring the process of preparing the NRC in Assam to weed out illegal immigrants as per the mandate of its own judgement.

The draft NRC was published on July 30, last in which names of 2.89 crores of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people were left out.

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SC raps Centre for trying to suspend NRC for elections

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