The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam, on Thursday ticked off Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal who had stated that the draft NRC will be published in December.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said no agency could make such a statement when it was monitoring the process. “We don’t appreciate any other authority intervening in the matter of preparation and publication of the draft NRC when this court has been monitoring the process… Last time you had told us that you will do it by March 2018. It is good that you are doing it. But we have an on-record statement of Chief Minister of Assam that the draft NRC will be published in December 2017.
Let him supervise then. We will wash off our hands. When the Supreme Court is monitoring it, we don’t see any other agency or authority to say that we will do it like this,” the bench said. It said the court had spent its time and energy for almost two years on the matter and “it is not fair to the court”.
The NRC is intended to identify original residents of the state to check illegal migration from Bangladesh. In 2014, the SC had ordered updating it and fixed January 2016 as the deadline. It later extended it to March 31, 2019.