[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court today took note of news reports regarding the alleged unfair proceedings during the claims and objection hearings in Assam relating to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and directed the NRC coordinator to ensure that the proceedings were fair while at the same time adhering to the July 31, 2019 timeline.
“There are disturbing reports in media and media is not always wrong. Just because this court has given a deadline does not mean you cut short the process. You are the coordinator, you have to coordinate and control. Merely disposing of claims is no good unless the disposal is properly done,” a vacation bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose told Prateek Hajela, the Assam state Coordinator.
The CJI further told Hajela to ask his officers to be fair. “He has to adhere to the timeline but just because of a timeline the officers shouldn’t cut short the process while deciding claims and objections pertaining to inclusion of names in NRC,” CJI Gogoi said.
The Apex Court’s observations have come after it was widely reported that a retired soldier
and Kargil war veteran was arrested and lodged in a detention centre for foreigners after a Foreigners Tribunal declared him an illegal immigrant.
The apex court had on May 8, 2019, made it clear that it would not extend even by a day the July 31, 2019 deadline for finalisation of the NRC in Assam and had given a “free hand” to the state coordinator to deal with complaints. The court today reiterated that the deadline had be adhere to.