On Friday, 1 February, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre, the Election Commission of India and the government of Assam on a petition that questioned the "deletion" of names of those who have been excluded form the final draft National Register for Citizens (NRC) from the state's voters list.
According to Indian Express, a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a petition by activist Gopal Seth when the notices were issued.
The plea was in reference to a resident of Sivasagar district in Assam, Susanta Sen. Sen’s counsel said that his name was not in the voter’s list as it did not appear in the draft NRC that was released in July 2018.
According to the petition, his name had been included in the voter list of 2014.
The petitioner said in his plea, as quoted by The Indian Express, "the right to vote in the democratic system is a constitutional right regulated by the statutory law and the freedom of a citizen to participate in the election process to choose their representative is a constitutional as well as statutory right, which cannot be taken away by any stretch of imagination."
‘Deletion of Names Discriminatory, Illegal’
"In the present case, a large number of population who are citizens of India by birth or any other process, who are ordinarily residents of Assam and were exercising their voting rights since they became adult….and it is because sudden deletion of their names from the draft NRC they are going to be deprived from their statutory rights," the petition further stated.
It called the deletion of number of voters from the Electoral Rollls in Assam pending final publication of NRC as "discriminatory, arbitrary, and illegal in gross violation/contravention to the provisions laid down in Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1985 and Representation of People Act, 1951".