GUWAHATI, Nov 24 - Though the Supreme Court constituted a committee of retired judges of the Gauhati High Court to examine the complaints regarding any obstruction and to give clarification on the modalities of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the committee is yet to function properly because of lack of cooperation from the Assam Government.
The Supreme Court, in an order dated July 23 last, constituted a committee comprising Justice Aftab Hussain Saikia, former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice D Biswas and Justice DN Choudhury, former judges of the Gauhati High Court to take care of the clarifications regarding the modalities of updating the NRC. The order said that the State Government would appoint a member secretary of the committee.
The Supreme Court further said that complaints related to obstruction in the matter of preparation of the NRC would be first brought to the notice of the committee. The committee would examine such matters and submit necessary report to the Supreme Court Registry.
Justice Saikia opted out of the committee, but Justice Biswas and Justice Choudhury agreed to function as members of the committee. But unfortunately, the committee is yet to start functioning due to lack of cooperation from the State Government.
The committee has already submitted a written report to the Supreme Court giving details of the lack of cooperation of the State Government. The Assam Government appointed a member secretary of the committee, who met the members in their residences. But till date, despite requests, the State Government has not provided an office for smooth functioning. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for the people to file complaints, if any, regarding updating of the NRC at a time when the vital phase of verification of the documents submitted by the applicants is on. �As there is no place where we can sit down and receive complaints from the public and organisations, we have not been able to start functioning. We have already submitted a written report to the Supreme Court,� said one of the members of the committee.
Meanwhile, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) has strongly criticised the State Government for its failure to cooperate with the Supreme Court- appointed committee and alleged that such action proved total lack of interest of the Government.
AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that they had submitted a complaint to one of the members of the committee in his residence, alleging lack of sincerity of the State Government in updating the NRC. He further said that the Centre also failed to send a team of senior officers to monitor progress of the NRC updating process. This issue was also brought to the notice of the committee.