“We have already made a statement that we will not do anything on the basis of the draft NRC,” senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the EC, told a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
The court also asked the EC to state what would happen to those whose names are there in the voters’ list but may not make it to the final NRC to be published by July 31, as well as the names deleted and made part of the voters’ list in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“What would be fate of the persons whose names appear in the electoral roll but are not included in the final NRC? This is the question which has great significance for the future and, therefore, the Court had thought it proper to require the Election Commission of India to make the aforesaid stand known before the Court by means of an affidavit of the competent authority which shall be so done within two weeks from today. We further direct the Election Commission of India to inform the Court the details with regard to the revision of electoral rolls under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 in the State of Assam with reference to 1.1.2017, 1.1.2018 and 1.1.2019 indicating the precise number of names included and deleted from the electoral roll in the aforesaid exercises of revision of electoral rolls,” the bench directed.
The bench was hearing a plea by a social activist who cited the example of a resident of Assam’s Sivasagar district, claiming that his name had been deleted from the voters’ list as he did not figure in the draft NRC. On the last date of hearing, the court had asked EC Secretary Mallay Mallick to appear in person to explain this.
The bench quizzed Mallick on Tuesday on the revision of the rolls. The Secretary explained that the revision of the electoral roll was a continuous process.
Singh rebutted the petitioner’s claim about the name of the Sivasagar resident being deleted from the list and said “it’s completely false, it’s perjury”.
He also sought initiation of perjury proceedings, stating that the allegations were creating “huge amount of adverse publicity against EC that we are doing something wrong”.
The petition wanted the court to declare “the deletion of innumerable number of voters from the Electoral Rolls in the State of Assam pending publication of final NRC as discriminatory, arbitrary, and illegal in gross violation /contravention to the provisions laid down in Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1985 and the Representation of People Act, 1951”.
It also sought a direction to the Election Commission “to forthwith restore the names of the persons deleted from the Electoral Rolls in the State of Assam on the basis of the draft NRC…”.
The court will next hear the matter on March 28.