GUWAHATI: Senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi has complained to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela did not discharge his duty efficiently while preparing the final list published last week, and requested him to review the matter.
The National Register of Citizens in Assam was updated under the monitoring of the Supreme Court and the final list which validates bonafide Indian citizens of the state, excluded over 19 lakh applicants.
In a letter to the CJI, Tarun Gogoi alleged that Hajela did not follow the direction of the apex court although over 50,000 government officials were engaged in the NRC updation job and around Rs 1,200 crore was spent at the cost of development work of the state.
"Now the question arises about the fates of several lakh people who have been left out of the NRC and have to move to Foreigners Tribunals to prove their citizenship and face harassment, not due to their faults but due to the callousness and inefficiency of the NRC authority," he said.
In the letter written on Thursday and made available to PTI on Friday, the three-time Congress chief minister said a number of people were excluded though their names were there in the voters' lists of both 1966 and 2019.
March 24, 1971, is the cut-off date for making a legitimate claim to Indian citizenship. "The (voters') list was prepared by Election Commission of India, a constitutional body, and so how could the names of people in it be excluded from the NRC," Gogoi said.
The final NRC has been rejected by all political parties, social organisations and intellectuals of the state, Tarun Gogoi said. He also claimed that BJP-headed governments at the state and the Centre are contradicting each other on the final NRC.
State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Assam BJP president Ranjit Dass rejected the document claiming it has anomalies, whereas a statement of the Ministry of External Affairs maintained that the NRC update was statutory, transparent and a legal process, mandated and monitored by the Supreme Court, the Congress leader said in the letter.
"The state government, if I am not wrong, is trying to blame the Supreme Court by making allegations that they had their limitations due to the interference of the highest court," he wrote to the CJI.
The central government, and not the Supreme Court, is the implementing authority and in "my view it is the total failure of the Centre," Tarun Gogoi added.
He appealed to the CJI to review the matter and ensure that genuine Indian citizens are "not deprived of their dignity and right to life and liberty as enshrined in the Indian Constitution".
A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied to be included in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the document and 19,06,657 excluded.
Parties across the political divide have called the final NRC faulty, with some saying they would appeal against it in the Supreme Court.