NEW DELHI, May 13 � Unhappy with the Centre and Assam government over the update of the National Register of Citizens, the Supreme Court today appointed a commission to visit the Indo-Bangladesh border to review the border sealing works.
A division bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and N Fali Nariman today expressed its dismay at the NRC update process and remarked that both the Government of India and Government of Assam were dragging their feet in the matter.
The petitioner Aabhijit Sharma, president of the Assam Public Works (APW), told newsmen that the apex court was not satisfied with the process going on regarding update of the NRC, border fencing etc. The court said the Government of Assam and Government of India were dragging the problem, he informed.
�So today the apex court appointed a commission to visit the Indo-Bangladesh border, mainly the Assam part, under the chairmanship of senior Supreme Court advocate Upamanyu Hazarika,� Sharma said.
The Supreme Court directed the Government of India to grant Rs 5 lakh to the commission, which will visit the border and see the status regarding border fencing and floodlighting and file an initial report within three weeks. It has to submit the final report by June 30, Sharma said.
The Supreme Court further directed the Gauhati High Court to appoint chairpersons and members in all the tribunals, including the 63 under Section 142 of the Constitution within 45 days from today.
The Government of Assam has to improve infrastructure and appoint all supporting staff within August 18.
NRC coordinator Prateek Hazela in the meantime, will do the initial work of the NRC update process like form distribution, data collection and documentation, till further order given by the court. The next hearing will take place in July, Sharma informed.
The APW president said that since even after so many years and after so many orders given by the Supreme Court, neither the State government nor the Government of India was serious about the problem, now the court would monitor the problem and has appointed a commission to visit the Indo-Bangladesh border. �We hope this time the border will be sealed,� said Sharma.
But Sharma expressed fear that the modality and supporting documents like ration card, passport and gram panchayat certificates given by the government in update of the NRC would help the foreigners to enroll their names in the NRC and names of many indigenous people would be left out.