SC extends deadline for final draft of Assam’s NRC to July 30

New Delhi: The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman agreed to extend the deadline for publication of the final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) on account of floods in three districts.

The apex court accepting the reasons given by NRC state coordinator and Centre extended the deadline for submission to July 30, TOI reported.

The NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela filed a report stating that activities regarding collecting the data have been hampered due to floods in the region for which NRC work could not be completed on time and proposed to publish the complete the draft by July 30 under any circumstances.

Hajela’s report said:”Mop up operations have taken a lot of time. It is humbly submitted that earlier experience indicates that in any activity the initial/starting phase takes a lot of time. After stabilisation, whereas 90-95 per cent achievement happens at high speed, the remaining 5 per cent completion takes a lot of time. This has been the case here also.”

The second reason Hajela cited in his report is about the preparation of database which involves data consolidation and can start only after completion of all data entries including quality checks.

“Around 89 numbers of NSKs (NRC Sewa Kendras) were affected directly out of 303 NSKs of these districts. However, the works of almost all the NSKs of these three districts got adversely affected as most of the NRC officials are drawn from various line departments and their services were required for flood relief,” it said.

The bench also asked Hajela as to whether if any adequate “protection/ security is provided to him and if so the agency which would provide such protection/security”, would he be more comfortable in discharging his duties, he responded saying, if provided, it would only help him in effectively discharging his duties indicating to measures provided to him by the State Government.

“We accordingly direct the chief secretary of the state and the director general of Police, Government of Assam to forthwith review the situation including the security cover presently provided to Hajela and his immediate family members including his children,” the bench said.

Asking the two officials to do needful, the bench said: “The chief secretary and the director general of Police, Government of Assam, will take immediate action in the matter and submit a report in a sealed cover to this court within seven days from today.”

The NRC is being prepared to identify the illegal migrants in Assam.