Entire effort of MHA seems to be to destroy National Register of Citizens, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the delay in the completion of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam, saying the Ministry doesn't want the 'NRC process to go on' and 'the entire effort of MHA seems to be to destroy NRC.'

The Supreme Court's observation comes after the Central government sought the suspension of the process in view of the impending General Elections.

"If you wanted the Assam NRC process to go on, the government has 1001 ways to do it... We are very disappointed. The entire effort of MHA seems to be to destroy NRC. We can even call the Union Home Secretary here," warned Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The CJI asked the Centre if it was too much to ask for General Elections and NRC work to go on simultaneously and peacefully.

The Supreme Court refused to pass an order on the Centre's plea to suspend NRC work for two weeks during General Elections and also clarified that it will not extend the date for publishing the final NRC list beyond July 31.

The matter has been listed for the first week of March.

The Centre wanted the withdrawal of 167 companies from the Assam NRC work to tend to the law and order situation in the country.

CJI Gogoi said the Centre has around 3,000 combined armed police companies, adding that only 2,700 companies are needed during the Lok Sabha elections.

"Assam NRC work requires 167 companies. So what is the problem?" the top court asked.

In response, Attorney General KK Venugopal said: "We need to protect the borders also. Security of the country is involved."

NRC is a register containing names of Indian citizens, which was prepared for the first time in 1951 and is being updated only for Assam to weed out illegal immigrants.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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