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Supreme Court Issues Notice On Plea Against Assam NRC Coordinator's Directions To Re-verify Final NRC List

Radhika Roy
29 Jan 2021 11:05 AM GMT
Supreme Court Issues Notice On Plea Against Assam NRC Coordinators Directions To Re-verify Final NRC List
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The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Assam NRC State Coordinator, Hitesh Dev Sarma, on a plea seeking the directions issued by him for unilaterally deleting names from the final National Register for Citizens, Assam which was published on 31st August, 2019. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde heard the submissions of Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared...

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The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Assam NRC State Coordinator, Hitesh Dev Sarma, on a plea seeking the directions issued by him for unilaterally deleting names from the final National Register for Citizens, Assam which was published on 31st August, 2019.


A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde heard the submissions of Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared on behalf of the Petitioners, and proceeded to issue notice in the same.

The application was originally filed as a contempt petition but the bench proceeded to consider it as interlocutory application.

The plea on behalf of Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind, filed by AOR Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi, seeks intervention of the Court against the directions/communications sent by Sarma to all the Deputy Commissioners and District Registrars of Citizen Registration in Assam, directing deletion of ineligible person along with their descendants, who had already been included in the final draft of NRC which was prepared under constant monitoring of the Supreme Court.

"The present petitioner humbly submits that the present unilateral way the Ld. State Coordinator/Alleged Contemnor No. 1 has issued directions/communication dated 13.10.2020 amounts to willful disobedience/non-compliance of Orders dated 07.08.2018, 23.07.2019 as well as Judgement dated 13.08.2019 passed by this Hon'ble Court in the captioned petition", the plea says.

Underlining on the urgency stressed by the Supreme Court in completing and finalizing the preparation of the NRC in the interest of safeguarding the constitutional rights of the people of Assam, the plea submits that the "unilateral action of the State Coordinator directing reverification and revisiting of completed stages in the process set out under the Schedule to the 2003 Rules will lead to unending delays in the finalization of the NRC".

Therefore, passing the impugned directive/communication without the consultation of the Court and in face of repeated orders passed by the Court, amounts to contempt. Further, it is submitted that it also fails to take into the views of the stakeholders.

The plea also refers to how, apart from the vague terminology of deletion of "descendants" from an already finalized NRC, Sarma has blatantly drawn authority from Clauses 4(3) and 4(6) of Schedule to Rule 4A of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens of Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, to conduct the re-verification of the included names despite the process having already been closed by the Supreme Court.

"…the most crucial aspect of the present issue is that the newly appointed State Coordinator, against whose appointment the present petitioner has already preferred an application before this Hon'ble Court and the same is pending, has acted high-handedly and in complete contravention to the orders of this Hon'ble Court".

In light of the above, the plea prays for directions to the State Coordinator of Assam to not take any steps of deletion of any included names from the final NRC, without the express consent of the Supreme Court.

Click here to read the application





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