“The question that looms large and what the Court would like to be informed about is the precise relationship between the final N.R.C. which is due to be published on 31.7.2019 and the electoral rolls.” What would be fate of the persons whose names appear in the electoral roll but are not included in the final NRC?, a curious Supreme Court bench asked the Election Commission of India on Tuesday. The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed that this question has ‘great significance for the future’. “Notwithstanding the contours of the present writ petition, the question that looms large and what the Court would like to be informed about is the precise relationship between the final N.R.C. which is due to be published on 31.7.2019 and the electoral rolls”, the bench said directing the ECI to file an affidavit within two weeks.
The bench was considering a writ petition filed by Gopal Seth raising allegation of deletion of the names of the petitioners from the voters’ list on the basis of their names not appearing in the draft N.R.C. As there was no representation of ECI during the last posting, the bench had directed personal appearance of its Secretary.
Mallay Mallick, ECI Secretary appeared before the bench on Tuesday and had an interaction with the bench. Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared for ECI, denied the allegations made in the writ petition and submitted that, at no point of time, the names of the petitioners have been deleted from the electoral roll. In this regard, the bench has asked ECI to file an affidavit within seven days. Posting the matter on 28th March, the bench further directed ECI: “We further direct the Election Commission of India to inform the Court the details with regard to the revision of electoral rolls under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 in the State of Assam with reference to 1.1.2017, 1.1.2018 and 1.1.2019 indicating the precise number of names included and deleted from the electoral roll in the aforesaid exercises of revision of electoral rolls.”