The Supreme Court has demanded an explanation from the Assam government over the alleged communal remarks made by National Register of Citizens state coordinator Hitesh Dev Sharma.
Senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal had drawn the attention of a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A Bobde, where the court observed the that Assam government was to be held accountable for the statements made by its state coordinator.
“He (Hitesh Dev Sharma) should not be saying all this. You (Assam government) will have to explain this,” said the Chief Justice.
The bench was hearing petitions several petitions filed relating to NRC in Assam, including the petition seeking removal of the state coordinator.
According to an article published by the Indian Express, Sharma had shared some controversial posts on Facebook about the contentious Citizenship law. In a post on February 13, restricted only to his friends, he had said that there were “lakhs and lakhs of Bangladeshis in the NRC”. In another post on November 15, 2017, before his appointment as the state coordinator for NRC, Sharma had shared a post saying, “Minority appeasement policy for the last seven decades has changed the definition of secularism”.
Indian National Congress and Barpeta MP Abdul Khaleq had also submitted a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal alleging that Hitesh Dev Sharma is a “biased” “untrustworthy” candidate for the post of state coordinator of NRC.
The bench has issued notices to the Union government and the Assam government and has sought response within four weeks.