GUWAHATI, April 8 - The voters� list of Assam should be revised on the basis of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) as it has been proved that names of foreign nationals were included in the electoral rolls. This was the observation made by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) HS Brahma. He also said that legal action should be taken against the officials who failed to verify the names before inclusion in the voters� lists.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Brahma admitted that there is possibility of inclusion of names of foreign nationals in the voters� lists. He expressed the view that as it has been proved during the process of updating the NRC that names of foreign nationals were included in the voters� lists, the issue should be taken seriously. He said that as soon as the process of updating the NRC is completed, the voters� lists should be revised on the basis of it.
Brahma admitted that it is the responsibility of the electoral registration officers to ensure that only names of genuine Indian citizens should be included in the voters� lists. But it is unfortunate that names of persons who were declared as foreigners by the Tribunals set up under the provisions of the Foreigners� Act were included in the voters� lists. This proved that the electoral registration officers did not carry out their duties properly and action should be taken against them for their failure to carry out their responsibility, he added. He also said that on their part, the Deputy Commissioners, who are the district election officers, should have supervised the process of revision of electoral rolls and they also failed in their responsibility.
The former CEC said that action can be taken against persons who presented fake or forged documents to get their names included in the voters lists under the provisions of the law and the Government should initiate such action immediately whenever such actions come to light. He said that as names of foreign nationals have been detected in the voters� lists, such names should be deleted immediately.
It may be mentioned here that during the process of verification of the documents submitted by the applicants for inclusion of names in the NRC, it was found that a substantial number of persons, who were declared as foreigners by the Tribunals, submitted voters� identity cards, which proved beyond doubt that names of foreigners were included in the voters lists. Moreover, more than 4,000 persons, who applied for inclusion of names in the NRC were earlier declared as foreigners, which proved that they are living in India even after the Tribunals declared them as foreigners.
A large number of people submitted voters� identity cards as proof of identity but during the verification of family trees of the persons, it was found that the names of their fathers mentioned in the voters� lists were different from the ones mentioned in the family trees. Some such persons submitted affidavits claiming that the names of their fathers were wrongly printed in the voters� lists but such claims are not acceptable as they should have get the identity cards corrected long back instead of waiting for family tree verification for updating the NRC.