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8-min read

News18 Daybreak | SC Reproaches Centre Over NRC Deadline Request and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:February 6, 2019, 9:06 AM IST

What to Watch Out For

Centre should hold to July 31 deadline for final NRC: SC reproaches government

The Supreme Court on Tuesday chided the Centre over the updation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and said that the government was hell bent on not allowing the process to continue. The two-person bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F Nariman refused a push back on the July 31 deadline to bring out the final list expressing disappointment over the government’s request.

What happened: The government had asked the top court to withhold the process of deciding claims and objections to the list for two weeks keeping in mind the upcoming general elections.

Attorney General representing the government urged the bench for permission to stall NRC work for two weeks keeping in mind the role of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the election duty.

The SC bench however refused the Centre’s demand and even went as far as to express disappointment over his request.

"We are sorry to say but the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is delaying the NRC work. We are left anguished. The MHA seems hell bent on destroying the NRC," the CJI remarked.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh responded to the SC with the assurance that the process will be completed within the stipulated deadline. “Neither any Indian national’s name will be excluded nor a foreigner’s name included in the final NRC,” he said.

In depth: First prepared in 1951, the NRC is a record of all the legal citizens in Assam. In 1980s a widespread anti-illegal foreigners' movement lead by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad in 1980 submitted a memorandum to the Centre, seeking the ‘updation’ of the list. The move was aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of Assam from illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. This movement also culminated in the Assam Accord of 1985.

But, it was only after the 2013 order by the Supreme Court that the government began the updation process under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and as per the rules framed in the Accord.

Under the scanner: A total of 3.29 crore people applied through 68.31 lakh applications. The updation started in May 2015 and ended on 31 August in a process that involved house-to-house field verification, determination of authenticity of documents, family tree investigations and even separate hearings for married women.

Controversies rife: Last year witnessed a political slugfest between the Opposition parties and the ruling-BJP party in the state after the final NRC draft left out over 40 lakh people from the list.

Following the release of the final draft, at least 30 lakh of the people who were left out of the list filed for inclusion under the ‘claims and objection’ process.

Those who are excluded from the final NRC list will be deemed as foreigners to the country and will have to prove themselves as Indian citizens in a tribunal court.

Another hearing on the matter has been listed for March.

Five-judge bench to hear review petition against Sabarimala verdict today

The SC today will begin hearing the review petitions challenging its September verdict allowing women of a reproductive age into the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala today. A five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will consider over 40 petitions including the petitions of Bindu and Kanakadurga, the first women below 50 years to enter the temple. The two women made headlines on January 2 by entering the temple, a day after the Left Democratic Party held the ‘Women’s Wall’ protest. Earlier, the top court had ordered full-time protection to Kanakadurga and Bindu after they approached the SC. The women are now seeking consent to enter the temple when it opens next on February 12.

Devotees wait for opening of the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, Kerala. (Image: PTI)

Detention hearing of 8 Indian students in US visa fraud case to begin today

The detention hearing of eight Indian students involved in visa fraud will begin in US’ Michigan Federal court today. Last week, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detained 130 foreign students, of which 129 were Indian, for enrolling at ‘Farmington University’ allegedly to remain in the US. According to a State Department spokesperson, "All participants in this scheme knew that the University of Farmington had no instructors or classes (neither on-line nor in-person) and were aware they were committing a crime in an attempt to fraudulently remain in the United States." Eight Indians, hailing from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, were also arrested on charges of ‘recruiting’ the students. One of the accused was subsequently let out on bail.

Karnataka set for a stormy budget session as 4 Congress MLAs remain defiant

The budget session of the Karnataka Assembly will begin today as 4 rebel MLAs from the Congress party continue to be defiant. The Congress party is likely to issue a whip to its MLAs like it had done ahead of the legislature party meeting last month. The four MLAs - Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli, B Nagendra and Dr Umesh Jadhav had failed to show up in the meeting last month. This time round however, those who violate the whip could even be disqualified. Absence of the ‘rebel’ MLAs will bring down the strength of the JD(S)-Congress coalition in the house to 114, after 2 independent MLAs switched over to the BJP-side amid allegations of horse-trading.

Final hearing on petitions against 16% Maratha quota in Bombay HC today

The Bombay High Court will commence its final hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging the Maharashtra government's decision to grant 16 per cent quota to the Maratha community in state-run jobs and education. Earlier, the HC had asked the state government to handover the complete Maharashtra Backward Class Commission (MBCC) report to all petitioners. It was on the basis of this report that on November 30 last year the state government had passed the bill giving 16% quota to the Marathas, who were declared as a “socially and educationally backward class”. Read about the report here.

What You May Have Missed

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee calls off 3-day dharna after SC verdict, says it's a "moral victory"

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called off her three-day sit-in protest against the CBI's move to raid the residence of Kolkata Police Commissioner in ponzi scam cases after the SC directed that no coercive action, including Rajeev Kumar’s arrest, can take place during the CBI investigation.

SC order: The SC however issued a notice to the Commisioner on the contempt plea that was filed by the CBI and asked Kumar to cooperate with the CBI in the Saradha chit fund scam case. Further, the bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna also ordered Rajeev Kumar to appear before the CBI in Shillong, Meghalaya to “avoid unnecessary controversy”.

Fire with fire: The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to the chief secretary of West Bengal seeking disciplinary action against the Kolkata top cop. In the letter, the Centre has accused the Commissioner of criticising the government, embarrassing the government and Centre-State relations

An official source however said that the state government was not rule bound to take action on the basis of the MHA’s written order as Kumar is working with the state government and not the Centre.

‘Moral Victory’: The West Bengal CM hailed the verdict as a moral victory. “We really welcome the (Supreme Court) verdict. It is absolutely correct. Our case is very strong. We never said we will not cooperate. This is political vendetta,” Banerjee said.

Banerjee had begun her "Save Constitution" dharna on Sunday evening after a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials showed up near the Loudon Street residence of the Kolkata Police chief but were removed from the spot by state police personnel.

Several leaders of opposition parties including Congress’ Rahul Gandhi, DMK’s MK Stalin and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had expressed their support to the West Bengal CM over the issue and criticised the Centre for its ‘undemocratic’ move. Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tejaswi Yadav and DMK leader Kanimozhialso even paid Mamata Banerjee a visit in a show of solidarity.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses the media following the face off between Kolkata police and Central Bureau of Investigation officials in Kolkata. (Image:AP)

Priyanka Gandhi gets her own office right next to Rahul Gandhi’s at Congress HQ in Delhi

The newly appointed AICC general secretary of UP East, Priyanka Gandhi was allotted her own office at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Congress leader whose recent and unexpected foray into politics made headlines, has been given the same office that her brother Rahul Gandhi used to sit in before he became the Congress chief in December 2016. Her office will now be next to Rahul’s current office. It is expected that she will formally take charge later this week after taking a dip in the Sangam at the Kumbh Mela

Anna Hazare calls of seven day fast after assurances from Devendra Fadnavis

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare called off his seven-day fast for the formation of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states after assurance from the Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis, accepted the octogenarian’s demands, after holding prolonged talks in Hazare's native Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district. Hazare had on Monday claimed that senior BJP leaders, who once vehemently backed his Lokpal demand, had turned 'allergic' to it after coming to power and accused the ruling dispensation of betraying people who voted it to power in 2014.

NSA slapped against 3 accused of cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh

In possibly a first under the Congress rule, the National Security Act (NSA), a law used to detain suspects who threaten the country's security, was on Tuesday slapped against three persons accused of illegal cow slaughter in the sensitive Khandwa region of Madhya Pradesh. The district administration gave its permission to the police to invoke NSA against the accused after cow carcasses were reportedly found. The three accused were arrested and were booked under relevant sections of the Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act.

On Reel

This year's Kumbh Mela is equipped with better technology to deal with health and sanitation. There are air and water ambulances and softwares monitoring the Kumbh daily. But what kind of work do they do exactly and how many people are employed to manage this mass pilgrimage at Kumbh which sees a footfall of millions? Watch the video to know more.

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