September 1, 2019 3:50:55 am
The publication of the final updated NRC for Assam on Saturday would not have been possible but for the judicial push, with the Supreme Court closely monitoring the progress and stepping in from time to time to ensure that the Centre and state stuck to the timeline.
* Petition by Assam Public Works, an NGO, seeks deletion of illegal voters from Assam’s voters’ list in 2009.
* Updation of 1951 NRC comes up before then CJI K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam. Court issues notice on July 20, 2009.
* Matter goes to bench headed by CJI S H Kapadia and counter affidavits are filed.
* Petition with similar prayers filed by Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha and others in 2012. Intervention applications, including by All Assam Minority Students Union also filed.
* Bench of Justices H L Gokhale and Ranjan Gogoi begin hearing in April 2013.
* In May 2013, Centre tells SC that modalities submitted by Assam were being examined and would be finalised within three months. It says updation “would be completed within three years from the date of notification”.
* In August 2013, SC expresses displeasure over delay by Centre in accepting modalities submitted by Assam. Letter from state to Centre lays out tentative assessment of timeline in six stages. Bench suggests compressing some stages to hasten process.
* On August 23, 2013, court asks Centre to grant financial clearance and for the notification to be issued.
* In October 2013, Centre informs that IAS officer Prateek Hajela will be nominated as nodal officer.
* Notification to begin NRC issued on December 5, 2013 and to appoint Hajela issued on January 28, 2014.
* In February 2014, Centre says nearly Rs 288 crore required for NRC exercise.
* Minority Students Union raises objections to the procedure but court does not find any substance.
* Matter posted before bench of Justices Gogoi and M Y Eqbal on August 4, 2014.
* On August 20, 2014, a bench of Justices Gogoi and R K Agrawal ask if work can be completed by Dec 2016.
* On September 23, 2014, bench asks Hajela to submit revised schedule to complete NRC exercise within 18 months.
* Matter comes up for hearing in 2017. Court accepts A K Mangotra, former secretary (border manage-ment), as Chairperson of Committee for overseeing fencing work.
* On November 30, 2017, bench rejects Attorney General K K Venugopal’s request to extend the December 31, 2017 deadline.
* In February 2018, court directs that local body elections scheduled for March-April should not affect the preparation of the final draft.
* On July 2, 2018, court directs that the final draft be published on or before July 30, 2018.
* After final draft, bench allows Centre to draw up the Standard Operating Procedure for fresh claims and objections.
* On August 7, 2018, court warns Hajela and Sailesh, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, of contempt over their statements.
* In November, CJI Gogoi and Justice Nariman overrule Hajela’s objections and allow claimant to reply on five additional documents.
* In January 2019, Hajela informs court that publication of updated NRC may stretch to end of September. Court says it should not go beyond July 31.
* Court refuses to pass order on Centre’s request to suspend NRC work to enable relocation of CRPF personnel. Reviews status of foreigners’ tribunals.
* On July 23, court extends deadline till August 31 after Hajela’s request. It rejects pleas by Centre and state to carry out sample re-verification.