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Cong demands old ration cards as valid NRC documents

By STAFF Reporter
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GUWAHATI, Dec 9 - Opposition Congress has called upon the NRC authority to modify its recent directives regarding use of old ration cards as valid documents for the purpose of evidence.

In a memorandum to the State Coordinator, NRC Assam, Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia and a group of Congress MLAs, stated that a recent office communication issued by the NRC authority regarding use of old ration cards needed to be modified and added that old ration cards should be regarded as a valid piece of document.

The legal validity as government documents of old ration cards is still a relevant document for the purpose of NRC update process as it is not necessary that in place of all cancelled ration cards, corresponding new ration cards were issued to the beneficiaries. Moreover, scheme under the National Food Security Act has not penetrated all areas universally and many genuine people who possess the old ration cards have not received the new ration cards after repudiation of their old cards. Therefore, the said office communication needed to be modified and old ration cards should be regarded as a valid piece of document, said the memorandum.

It pointed out that the office of the NRC State Coordinator had recently �issued a circular to all the District Registrar of Citizen Registration (DRCR) stating that the Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs department has cancelled all AAY, APL, BPL and MMASY ration card issued before August 1, 2014.�

�The reason for the same was the introduction of the National Food Security Act which is an umbrella project and covers all targeted people in one scheme. So the entire gamut of ration cards issued prior to this Act was cancelled. However, it is pertinent to mention here that the said card is only related to the issuance of scale of rationed items under the new Act.

�But NRC required valid government documents prior to 1971 in the list �B�. As an official government document, earlier ration cards will definitely have validity as relevant entry in any public or other official book, register stating a fact in issue or relevant fact as envisaged under Section 35 of the Evidence Act, 1872. Therefore, your above-mentioned office communication will impress all Deputy Commissioners that old ration cards have been cancelled and cannot be used as documents of evidence in NRC,� said the memorandum, demanding a modification to it.

The Congress legislators also urged the NRC Coordinator to reconsider another recent circular issued by it stating that while recording statements of persons in Part E of District Magistrate Investigation Team report, government officials need to be given primacy and their statements need to be recorded compulsorily and statements of private persons can be considered only if they corroborate statements given by the government functionaries.

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Cong demands old ration cards as valid NRC documents

GUWAHATI, Dec 9 - Opposition Congress has called upon the NRC authority to modify its recent directives regarding use of old ration cards as valid documents for the purpose of evidence.

In a memorandum to the State Coordinator, NRC Assam, Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia and a group of Congress MLAs, stated that a recent office communication issued by the NRC authority regarding use of old ration cards needed to be modified and added that old ration cards should be regarded as a valid piece of document.

The legal validity as government documents of old ration cards is still a relevant document for the purpose of NRC update process as it is not necessary that in place of all cancelled ration cards, corresponding new ration cards were issued to the beneficiaries. Moreover, scheme under the National Food Security Act has not penetrated all areas universally and many genuine people who possess the old ration cards have not received the new ration cards after repudiation of their old cards. Therefore, the said office communication needed to be modified and old ration cards should be regarded as a valid piece of document, said the memorandum.

It pointed out that the office of the NRC State Coordinator had recently �issued a circular to all the District Registrar of Citizen Registration (DRCR) stating that the Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs department has cancelled all AAY, APL, BPL and MMASY ration card issued before August 1, 2014.�

�The reason for the same was the introduction of the National Food Security Act which is an umbrella project and covers all targeted people in one scheme. So the entire gamut of ration cards issued prior to this Act was cancelled. However, it is pertinent to mention here that the said card is only related to the issuance of scale of rationed items under the new Act.

�But NRC required valid government documents prior to 1971 in the list �B�. As an official government document, earlier ration cards will definitely have validity as relevant entry in any public or other official book, register stating a fact in issue or relevant fact as envisaged under Section 35 of the Evidence Act, 1872. Therefore, your above-mentioned office communication will impress all Deputy Commissioners that old ration cards have been cancelled and cannot be used as documents of evidence in NRC,� said the memorandum, demanding a modification to it.

The Congress legislators also urged the NRC Coordinator to reconsider another recent circular issued by it stating that while recording statements of persons in Part E of District Magistrate Investigation Team report, government officials need to be given primacy and their statements need to be recorded compulsorily and statements of private persons can be considered only if they corroborate statements given by the government functionaries.