NEW DELHI: Director of the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RAAG) Suhas Chakma on Friday stated that the release of the district-wise draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) data by the Government of Assam on Thursday before the State Assembly constitutes contempt of court as the Supreme Court had specifically directed State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela not to share any information pertaining to the ongoing exercise of updating of the NRC with any executive, legislative or judicial authority of the State without leave of the Supreme Court, considering its sensitivity.
The Supreme Court in its order on September 19, 2018, had rejected the plea of the Union of India to share the draft data. In its order the Apex Court, while rejecting the prayer of the Union of India to share the Confidential Report/Reports filed by Prateek Hajela placed before the Supreme Court in a sealed cover(s), stated, “Though Shri K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India has stated that a copy of the said report/reports be made available to the Union of India, we are of the view that having regard to the sensitive nature of some of the information contained therein which may affect the entire exercise undertaken and also the exercise that may be required to be undertaken by the Court the said 12 reports/reports should remain in the custody of the Court for the present. In the meantime, we direct Shri Hajela not to share any information pertaining to the ongoing exercise of updating of the NRC with any Executive, Legislative or Judicial Authority of the State without leave of the Court.”
“The data presented and prepared by Prateek Hajela has not been finalized and the final report shall be released only on August 31, 2019. Therefore, the disclosure of the draft data interferes with and obstructs the administration of justice, and further scandalizes and lowers the authority of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court should suo motu initiate contempt proceedings into the matter,” said Chakma in a press release.