Now Panchayat Docs to be accepted only after proper verification

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By Prasenjit Deb

Guwahati, December 5: Following the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Gaon Panchayat documents on Tuesday, the bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman has now directed for that Gaon Panchayat Certificates can be accepted as a linkage document between the holder of such certificate and the person from whom the legacy is claimed but after thorough verification and enquiry.

It is to be noted that these Gaon Panchayat documents will now be accepted only after proper verification and enquiry unlike the earlier situation before the matter was brought up in Gauhati High Court when Panchayat Docs were accepted by default.

What is more interesting is the fact that the SC verdict on the issue today seemed to be purposefully misinterpreted by a section of people with vested interests, said a BJP leader from Assam who refused to be named.

It must be noted that multiple media reports including some social media messages have portrayed that SC has legalized Panchayat Docs for NRC process without highlighting the fact that SC has in fact clearly mentioned about a rigorous verification process in the verdict.

Speaking to TIME8 in this regard, AASU Advisor, Samujjal Bhattacharjee said, “AASU supports the judgment on the issue of validation of Panchayat Certificates. However, there will be re-verification of these documents which will be conducted by the concerned authority which is a good decision as far the complexity of the matter is concerned.”
The bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman in the Supreme Court further stated in the judgment that Gaon Panchayat Certificate will be taken as a link certificate which will be taken as legal document followed by prior verification of the content of the Panchayat Certificates including the authenticity of the signatory of the Panchayat Secretary along with the authenticity of the BPO or Circle Officer who has actually signed the certificates.

On the other hand, the matter of O.I have been dismissed by the Supreme Court stating it has no link with the updation process of the NRC, as NRC final draft will contain the list of Indian citizens not on the basis of O.I or otherwise.