News & Information From Northeast India

Assam Opposition leader vows to move SC as govt releases NRC data

Leader of Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, on August 2 said he will move the Supreme Court against the Assam government for making public the district-wise data of people not included in the draft NRC published in July 2018.

Saikia told reporters that the revelation of the data by the government on August 1 during the ongoing session of the Assam Legislative Assembly is in contempt of court.

On August 1, Assam’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary while replying to a question in the Assembly said that the percentage of people excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) is more in indigenous and tribal dominated areas compared to districts bordering Bangladesh.

Patowary also submitted a written statement in the House giving the details of percentage of exclusions in each districts of the state and said that the government favours a sample re-verification of 20 per cent people in districts bordering Bangladesh followed by a 10 per cent sample re-verification in other areas.

“It is a contempt of court particularly when the process of NRC updation is continuing in Assam. There was a standing instruction of the apex court to not to share sensitive information related to NRC updation even with any executive, legislative or judicial authority. The apex court had also refused to give the information to the Attorney General of the Central government. So this is a contempt of court by Assam government and I am going to the Supreme Court over this,” said Saikia.

NRC state coordinator Pratik Hajela handed over the data to the apex court in a sealed envelope last year and the court in its subsequent orders directed Hajela not to share any information pertaining to the ongoing exercise of updation of the NRC with any executive, legislative or judicial authority of the state without leave of the court.

Meanwhile, prominent rights body, Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RAAG), has also termed the Assam government’s move to release the district-wise draft NRC data as a contempt of court.

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