The Centre’s decision to suspend the ongoing revision of National Register of Citizens (NRC) for two weeks during the general election upset the Supreme Court
Supreme Court observed against the government and accused it of trying to “destroy” the progress made so far.
The SC comment came after Attorney General KK Venugopal informed a bench that 167 companies of central paramilitary forces currently engaged in Assam with the NRC were needed for deployment during the general elections.
This time around, the Centre intends to deploy 2,700 companies of security forces across the country as compared to 2,500 companies engaged in 2014.
Previously, the apex court had indicated that the upcoming general elections should not interfere in the ongoing work on NRC as the final list has to be put out by July 31.
On Tuesday, the court pulled up a senior Ministry of Home Affairs official and asked him the existing workforce of security personnel in the country.
Upon learning there are 3,000 companies, the court questioned the need to pull out the 167 companies from Assam.
Venugopal informed the court that several are engaged at borders and abroad and cannot be called in the interest of the security of the country.
However, the bench objected and said, “We are being left with an impression that the Centre is bent upon to stall the NRC work and for this, you are coming up with one excuse after another. The entire effort of the MHA seems to be to destroy this process. The Government of India is not cooperating.”
The AG though responded that the Central and Assam governments were on the same page in trying to roll out the draft NRC and the second round of filing appeals by 40-lakh residents who could not make it to the list in the first round.
The bench then categorically told the AG that it will not extend the deadline of July 31.
In this regard, the Court directed the Election Commission to keep 3,457 state government officials in various ranks for NRC work and requested the poll panel from exempting the transfer of District Magistrates and Additional DMs in the state to ensure least interference in the completion of NRC.