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Congress’ Saikia to write to Supreme Court to check if placing NRC data in assembly violates court’s order, The Economic Times

The Economic Times

Guwahati: Leader of opposition in Assam legislative assembly and congress leader, Debabrata Saikia said that Assam government has done contempt of Supreme Court by placing district wise data of draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published last year in the floor of the house.
Saikia said he will write to the Apex court in this regard.

Saikia told ET, “The Supreme Court which is monitoring the NRC has barred the NRC authorities from sharing any data. Even the Union government’s plea to get the data was
turned down by the Apex court.”

The leader of opposition said, “ I will write to Supreme Court stating that Assam government’s placing the sensitive data in the assembly is contempt of Court.”
On Thursday which was the last day on the summer session, NRC was intensely debated.

Several BJP MLAs questioned the fairness of the NRC updation. In the document submitted in the assembly government has stated in border districts like Dhubri and South Salmara the non-inclusion percentage is around 8.25 percent and 7.22 percent respectively whereas in upper Assam districts like Tinsukia the non-inclusion percentage stood at 13.25 percent. In the tribal dominated hill district of the west KarbiAnglong the non-inclusion was in the range of 15.47 percent. In Guwahati city encompassing Kamrup metropolitan district around 17.89 percent is non-included.

Assam’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patwary said in the state assembly that Centre and state government has pleaded for 20 percent re-verification in border areas and other areas respectively to make the NRC an error free document.

Supreme Court recently turn down the government’s plea of re-verification.

Patwary said, “NRCcoordinator has not taken people of Assam into confidence so his claim is irrelevant. It is evident from the affidavit of the state Coordinator that there has been large scale misuse of Legacy Data Code in districts bordering Bangladesh and hence the percentage of non-inclusion is less,” All Assam Students Union (Aasu) has expressed concern over making data public. Lurinjyoti Gogoi, general secretary, AASU said that it is matter of concern that such data is made public.

Director of the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RAAG) Suhas Chakma said that the release of the district-wise draft NRC data by the Government of Assam constitutes contempt of court as the Supreme Court had specifically directed Prateek Hajela, the Supreme court appointed Coordinator of the NRC, not to share any information pertaining to the ongoing exercise of updation of the NRC with any Executive, Legislative or Judicial Authority of the State without leave of the Supreme Court considering its sensitivity.

Chakma added that the Supreme Court in its order on September 19, 2018 had rejected the plea of the Union of India to share the draft data.

In its order the apex Court while rejecting the prayer of the Union of India to share the Confidential Report/Reports filed by Prateek Hajela placed before the Supreme Court in a sealed cover(s) stated, “Though K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India has stated that a copy of the said report/reports be made available to the Union of India, we are of the view that having regard to the sensitive nature of some of the information contained therein which may affect the entire exercise undertaken and also the exercise that may be required to be undertaken by the Court the said 12 report/reports should remain in the custody of the Court for the present. In the meantime, we direct Hajela not to share any information pertaining to the ongoing exercise of updation of the NRC with any Executive, Legislative or Judicial Authority of the State without leave of the Court.”

“The data presented and prepared Prateek Hajela has not been finalized and final report shall be released only on 31 August 2019. Therefore, the disclosure of the draft data interferes with and obstructs the administration of justice, and further scandalizes and lowers the authority of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court should suo motu initiate contempt proceedings into the matter.” – stated Chakma.

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