The Centre and the State of Assam
on Tuesday made an urgent mention before the Chief Justice of India for an extension of the deadline for the final publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) from July 31, 2019, to a “future date”.
In identical but separate applications, they urged the Supreme Court
for more time to conduct a “sample re-verification process” of the names included in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018.
They said a 20% sample re-verification of the names should be conducted in districts bordering Bangladesh and a 10% sample re-verification in the remaining districts.
The Assam government, represented by advocate Shuvodeep Roy, said the 20% sample re-verification should target border districts where illegal migration from Bangladesh was higher and where population growth had been reported higher than the State’s average, as per census reports.
Both the Centre and the State said the re-verification exercise should be conducted by Class 1 officers of the State government from other districts who have knowledge and experience of handling the process of enquiry/investigation. The applications further sought an order that the sample re-verification should be undertaken at a place different from where the NRC exercise happened. The Assam government agreed that this would cut out the possibility of local influences, bias/threat, etc.
“But why should we grant an extension?” asked the CJI even as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pressed for an early hearing.