New Delhi: Amid a growing clamour of non-cooperation with the NPR process, the ministry of home affairs has cited that rules authorise officials to impose a penalty of Rs 1,000 in case someone refuses to give information for NPR or deliberately gives wrong information.
“Rule 17 of the citizenship rules states that a penalty of Rs 1,000 can be imposed for wrong information,” an MHA official said. However, the official also pointed out that the provision has not been used so far in the NPRs of 2011 and 2015.
Speaking at an anti-CAA, NPR and NRC forum in December, author Arundhati Roy had asked people to give wrong names if enumerators come to their house.
“When officials visit your home for NPR and ask you your name, give them names like Ranga-Billa, Kungfu-Katta,” Roy had said.
NPR officials also said in their pre-test, no respondent had shown any hesitation in sharing their Aadhaar, voter ID, driving licence or passport details. The only objection from some quarters was to the PAN number.
“Because of the objection we have decided to do away with the column on pan card," an official said.
Seventy-three districts were covered in the test, where samples of nearly 30 lakh individuals were collected.
“In 80% cases, respondents provided details voluntarily but were hesitant to share PAN details, following which we decided to drop the column in NPR,” a senior official said.
Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson tweeted to say that it was not mandatory to provide details of Aadhaar, voter ID, passport and driving licence number.
In response to some media reports, the MHA spokesperson tweeted: “As quoted in a news item, ‘Have Aadhar, Passport? You will have to share details for NPR...Voter id, DL Info also Mandatory’, gives a wrong impression that these documents would have to be compulsorily given for NPR exercise. Such a connotation is not correct."
The NPR process begins on April 1. Kerala and West Bengal have told District Director of Census Operations, the officer incharge of census and NPR in their states, that they will not allow the NPR process.