The Congress on Friday alleged the NRC Assam coordinator’s recent directive to prepare a list of ‘D-voters’ (doubtful voters) amounts to contempt of court as the Supreme Court’s permission was not taken. Leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, said the desire of the people of Assam was fulfilled when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was updated under the apex court’s supervision and both the Centre and the state government share a responsibility towards it.
The incumbent NRC state coordinator (SCNRC), however, has instructed various deputy commissioners to prepare a list of ‘D-voters’ — persons facing trial in the foreigners’ tribunals, children younger than 14 years whose one of the parents have dubious nationality, and the like. “Such a directive is tantamount to contempt of the Supreme Court because the SCNRC has not taken the court’s leave to issue the directive,” the Congress leader said.
The apex court has not passed any order regarding inclusion or omission of names in the final NRC, he said. Saikia urged the state government to take the initiative to expeditiously start the appeal process pertaining to the final NRC, which was supposed to commence within 120 days of publication of the document on August 31 last year but has remained on hold for over one year.
Emphasis should be laid on the inclusion of the names of local inhabitants whose names did not appear in the NRC as they did not apply for enrolment, Saikia said. The final NRC was released on August 31 last year with the exclusion of 19.06 lakh people from it.
After the publication of the final NRC, almost all stakeholders and political parties criticised it as a faulty document alleging the exclusion of indigenous people and the inclusion of illegal immigrants. On August 31 this year, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said in the Assembly the Assam government had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court for re-verification of 20 per cent names in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent in the remaining parts of the state.