NRC
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Uncertainty looms large over National Registar of Citizens (NRC) final draft publication at Silchar

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 22: Just a week ahead of the publication of the NRC final draft on July 30, certain questions have cropped up about it. According to a report from New Delhi, the Supreme Court division bench of Justice Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazir will take up for hearing on urgent basis the plea for inclusion of the names of the family members of the ‘D’ voters and foreigners identified in the final NRC draft and issue necessary directives in this respect. This is in the context of the writ petition (21959/18) filed by Karimganj MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha and a citizen Nurul Huda before the vacation bench of the Apex Court.

It is to be mentioned here that a division bench of Justice Naveen Sinha and Arun Mishra has expressed its serious concern at the issue of the inclusion of the names of the family members of identified ‘D’ voters and foreigners and sent it to the Chief Justice Dipak Misra for review. The Chief Justice after giving serious thought to it formed the division bench. This was conveyed to Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha.

It is significant that so far all the writ petitions related to NRC update matters have been referred to the specially constituted division bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman which has been monitoring the NRC update process. But, the writ petition of Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha has been referred to another division bench. The judgment of the division bench of Naveen Sinha and Arun Mishra on the issue of the inclusion of the family members of ‘D’ voters and foreigners identified in the NRC update is now being keenly awaited.

As the hearing has been fixed on July 23, question is now making round will the final draft be published on July 30. It is also worth mentioning that different social, cultural, linguistic and ethnic organizations have been camping from time to time in the national capital and meeting the leaders of different political parties, besides drawing the attention of the higher officials of the Registrar General and the Union Home Ministry about the way NRC update has been going on in Assam. According to them, the names of linguistic and religious minority members are being indiscriminately deleted from the draft.

Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha in particular has brought to the notice of Sri Sailesh, Registrar General of India, and Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary in-charge northeast in the UHM, the newer and fresher directives, often in contradiction to one another, issued by Prateek Hajela, state NRC coordinator. Apart from that as noted lawyer of Silchar Bar Association Dharmananda Deb said the very fate of NRC hangs in balance as the most crucial issue of cut off date under Article 6 (A) is pending before the 5 member constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. He apprehends the whole exercise of update is at a stake. In order to substantiate his contention, Dharmananda Deb said if the cut off date is decided to be 1951 or 2014 as per the Notification dated September 7, 2015, then will not the update process has to begin almost afresh. Will it not be the wastage of huge public money?