The advocate has written to CJI Dipak Misra, saying the presence of Gogoi on the bench would “create doubts in the minds of other ethnicities”.
New Delhi: A Guwahati-based senior advocate has written to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra objecting to Justice Ranjan Gogoi, an Assamese, hearing the case related to the updation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam. The NRC case is being heard by Justices Gogoi and Rohinton F. Nariman.
Senior advocate Pradip Dutta Roy, in his letter, said Justice Gogoi’s association with the state would “create ample doubt in the minds of other ethnicities about the delivery of the judgment”.
“The issue of NRC has created a kind of atmosphere of mistrust among various communities of Assam. In fact, Assam is now a volcano which can erupt anytime,” Roy wrote.
While clarifying that he “does not have any personal score to settle with Justice Gogoi”, Roy requested CJI Misra to look into the issue. The CJI is yet to respond to Roy’s letter.
The Supreme Court is supervising the process of updating the NRC and finalising the modalities to deal with claims and objections of over 40 lakh people whose names have not found a place in the final draft released on 30 July.
The process of updating the NRC, first published after the 1951 Census, began in 2015, and is now being updated keeping 24 March, 1971 as the cut-off date to identify those who immigrated to Assam illegally from Bangladesh.
In December 2017, the same bench had ruled that Gram Panchayat certificates can be used as a supporting document to prove identity.
Justice Gogoi is an Ahom by ethnicity, and is a registered voter in Assam who would be included in the NRC. The advocate also highlighted that Justice Gogoi’s father Keshab Gogoi was a former chief minister of Assam from the Congress party.
Tuesday, the court severely pulled up NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela and Registrar General and Census Commissioner Sailesh for speaking to the media about the process of claims and objections without the court’s nod.