Assam government, Centre move SC seeking re-verification of 20% names in draft NRC; pleas come fortnight before deadline

New Delhi: The Centre and the Assam government have moved the Supreme Court seeking re-verification of 20 percent names in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state. The Centre and the state government sought an urgent hearing on the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which said it would look into it.

 Assam government, Centre move SC seeking re-verification of 20% names in draft NRC; pleas come fortnight before deadline

File image of people outside an NRC Seva Kendra in Guwahati. PTI

The Centre's plea on Tuesday also sought to suitably modify the timeline fixed for publication of final NRC from 31 July, 2019 to a future date. Both governments sought a direction for 20 percent sample re-verification of names included in the final draft NRC in the districts of Assam bordering Bangladesh and 10 percent sample re-verification of names included in the final draft NRC in the remaining districts.

"Pass an order directing 20 percent sample re-verification of names included in the final draft NRC in districts of the state of Assam bordering Bangladesh and a 10 percent sample re-verification of names included in the final draft NRC in the remaining districts of Assam," the Centre's plea said.

The Centre also sought direction that such re-verification exercise to be conducted by Class I officers of the state government from other districts who have knowledge and experience of handling the process of enquiry or investigation.

The petition also sought a direction to fix the venue of the sample re-verification at a place which was not in the vicinity of the initial NRC verification to rule out possibility of local influences, bias and threat. The Centre and state government pleas comes a fortnight before the 31 July deadline set by the apex court for publication of the final NRC.

It claimed that names of Indian citizens were excluded and illegal Bangladeshi migrants were included in the draft. The pleas referred to the apex court's 2018 order by which it had said it could consider a re-verification of 10 percent of the people who were included in the draft NRC.

The top court had termed the issue as "human problem with great magnitude" and asked the state NRC coordinator to submit a report in a sealed cover on the ramification of allowing the claimants to file new sets of legacy documents.

The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of 31 December, 2017 and 1 January, 2018 in accordance with the top court's direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then. Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.

Updated Date: Jul 18, 2019 15:49:15 IST