Guwahati: At a time when the entire state is demanding a re-verification over the non-inclusion of names of the genuine citizens in the final list of NRC, Senior Supreme Court advocate and Convener of Prabajan Virodhi Manch Upamanyu Hazarika on Tuesday stated that under the provisions of the – Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003, the Government has all the powers to review and undertake a re-verification work of those wrongfully entered in the NRC.
In a press statement, Hazarika said that with the executive power vested in the Government and there is no requirement to seek orders from the Supreme Court.
“A large number of Ministers, BJP leaders, AGP, AASU etc., have been making public announcements of approaching the Supreme Court seeking re-verification of the NRC but in terms of the existing legal provisions there is no requirement as the Government has all the powers to do it itself,” said Hazarika.
Under Rule 4 of the Schedule to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) Rule 2003, the draft NRC re-verification power rests in the District Registrar of Citizen Registration mainly the District Magistrate. In case of the NRC after its final publication Rule 10 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) Rule 2003 vests power in the Registrar General or his nominee to remove any names from the citizens list if it is found to be on the basis of incorrect particulars, informed Upamanyu Hazarika.
Pointing out the statutory provision under Rule 10 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) Rule 2003, a memorandum was submitted by Upamanyu Hazarika to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah – Union Home Minister and Sarbananda Sonowal – Chief Minister of Assam.
“We have also sought their intervention towards the long-lasting solution of protecting the indigenous in Assam from becoming a minority by ensuring a legal protection reserving land, employment, trade and educational opportunities only to those who were citizens in 1951 and their progeny,” added Hazarika.
Furthermore, Hazarika claimed that the entire task of NRC preparation, providing legal safeguards vests in the executive and in the legislature. The Courts and in the present case – The Supreme Court intervened in the process only when the Government does not act. “Had successive Governments carried out the NRC updating process of their volition, the intervention of the Supreme Court would not have been warranted and it is now up to the Government and the leaders to take forward the task which is actually theirs and not the Court’s,” suggested the senior advocate.