FROM A CORRESPONDENT
NEW DELHI, April 20: The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that ration card cannot be used as a document for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Upholding the Centre’s reservations over use of ration card as a document for NRC update exercise, the two-member SC bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and F Nariman observed that ration card cannot be used as a document to prove one’s citizenship. Prateek Hajela, State coordinator, NRC, informed the apex court about various issues and problems that come up while taking ration card as a proof of citizenship. Hajela also raised the issue of 48 lakh documents issued by panchayats as NRC documents, and said both the Central and State governments don’t have any objection to the same to be considered as NRC documents. However, a senior lawyer informed the bench that a petition has been filed in the apex court challenging this decision.
The Supreme Court also asked Assam government to initiate process to extend the contract with Wipro which has an agreement with the State government for providing technical support to NRC update exercise. The contract with Wipro expired on March 31. On the India-Bangladesh border fencing issue, the apex court said it will take a call on the basis of Madhukar Gupta committee report, said APW president Abhijit Sarma. A special petition (Case no. 247/09) was filed by APW on this issue, which is also supported by AASU. AASU chief advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjee said, “There is a conspiracy by a section of people to include names of illegal Bangladeshis in NRC with the support of fake documents. So, we will not compromise on the issue. Only the names of indigenous people should find place in the NRC.”