The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Central government for causing "delays in the NRC process" in Assam, saying that the deadline will not be extended beyond 31 July and that the process must go on along with the elections.
The court pulled up the Ministry of Home Affairs saying that it is "hell-bent on not allowing Assam NRC process to go on" and that "every time it comes up with different stories to destroy this process".
"We are getting an impression that the MHA wants to destroy the whole process," the court observed, NewsNation reported.
According to ANI, the Centre wanted the NRC process to be suspended in view of impending general elections.
"The top court’s observation came while dismissing a plea for withdrawal of 167 companies of combined armed forces", Hindustan Times reported. The Supreme Court refused to allow the MHA to withdraw the central forces from Assam.
The court told the government wanted the citizen register process to go on there were “1001 ways to do so”, the report said.
The process of inclusion of names in the NRC is being conducted for the first time since 1951, under the supervision of the Supreme Court. It was started in 2005 during the UPA government and picked up pace under the NDA government.
The first draft of the NRC was published on 31 December 2017, and the complete draft NRC was published on 30 July 2018. When the complete draft NRC was published, names of 40 lakh residents of Assam were excluded from it, creating a huge political controversy.
The Supreme Court had then set 15 December as the deadline to file claims and objections on the inclusion of names in the draft NRC. It was later extended to 31 December.
In January, the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir had informed the Rajya Sabha that the NRC will be finalised as per the timelines approved by the Supreme Court after the disposal of claims and objections. However, the Centre had sought another extension on the deadline late January last year, which the Supreme Court had rejected. On Tuesday, it reiterated that the process must complete by 31 July.
With inputs from agencies
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