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Assam NRC: SC Notice on Pleas Against Sarma for Deletion of Names

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on two pleas against the actions of the NRC-Assam State Coordinator Sarma.

Published
Law
2 min read
Supreme Court Issues Notice On Plea Against Assam NRC Coordinator’s Directions To Re-verify Final NRC List
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The Supreme Court on Friday, 29 January, issued notice on two pleas against the actions of the new NRC-Assam State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma, for reviewing and deleting names from the already finalised National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam.

Jamiat Ulema e Hind and All Assam Minorities Students Union (AAMSU) had moved the apex court challenging the circular issued by Sarma in October last year, which directed identification and deletion of names from the finalised NRC, Assam. Though the petitioners had initially filed contempt petitions against Sarma, in the previous hearing the top court had asked for an amendment to the petitions by removing the prayer for initiating contempt.

On Friday, a bench headed by the Chief Justice S.A. Bobde converted the amended contempt petition into interlocutory applications in the main matter (NRC monitoring bench) and issued notice returnable in four weeks.

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The petitioners were represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Advocate-on-Record Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi.

The petitioners urged the apex court to direct the State Coordinator not to take any steps of deletion of any included names from the final NRC.

"The unilateral action of the State Coordinator directing re-verification and revisiting of completed stages in the process set out under the Schedule to the 2003 Rules will lead to unending delays in the finalisation of the NRC, in direct violation of the repeated orders of this court", said the plea filed by Jamiat.

What Did Sarma Do?

In October 2020, Sarma had directed all the Deputy Commissioners and District Registrars of Citizen Registration (DRCR) in Assam, to delete "ineligible persons belonging to the categories of DF (Declared Foreigner)/DV (D-Voters)/PFT (Pending cases before Foreigners' Tribunal) along with their descendants" who were included in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens, Assam, prepared under the constant monitoring of the top court.

The entire process to update the National Register of Citizens, Assam was conducted under the close monitoring of the Supreme Court, and after taking the views of all the stakeholders, this court ensured the final publication of the NRC, Assam on August 31, 2019.

"Despite the completion of this meticulous exercise under close monitoring by this court, the newly appointed State Coordinator, Assam has unilaterally issued directions for deletion of 'ineligible persons belonging to the categories of DF (Declared Foreigner)/DV (D-Voters)/PFT (Pending cases before Foreigners' Tribunal) along with their descendants' from the final NRC, Assam", the plea contended, urging the top court to quash this direction by Sarma.

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