The Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for claiming that the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be published by December 31. The NRC is meant to identify original residents of Assam to check illegal migration.
The top court said when it was monitoring the process of publication of the draft NRC, no agency or authority can make a statement like this.
"We don't appreciate any other authority intervening inthe matter of preparation and publication of the draft NRCwhen this court has been monitoring the process," the benchcomprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said.
During the hearing the bench was informed that though thedeadline for the publication of draft NRC was said to be March 31, 2019, the Chief Minister has stated that this would bedone on or before December 2017.
"Last time you had told us that you will do it by March2018. It is good that you are doing it. But we have an on-record statement of Chief Minister of Assam that the draft NRCwill be published in December 2017. Let him supervise then. We will wash off our hands.
"When the Supreme Court is monitoring it, we don't seeany other agency or authority to say that we will do it like this," the bench said. It also said that the apex court has already spend itsenergy, time for almost two years and "it is not fair to thecourt".
The apex court had earlier asked for preparation of NRC to keep a check on illegal migration from Bangladesh. The apex court was hearing a matter relating to fencingof Indo-Bangla border.
With PTI inputs