Assam NRC: Ahead of final list, MHA increases time limit for filing appeals in foreigners tribunal to 120 days

  • MHA will increase the time limit for those excluded from NRC to appeal before the foreigners tribunal

  • This comes ahead of the publication of the final NRC list on 31 August, as directed by the Supreme Court

  • An additional 1.02 lakh people were also included last month in the list of excluded persons taking the number of ineligible persons to 41 lakh

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Tuesday that it will increase the time limit for those excluded from NRC to appeal before the foreigners tribunal in Assam.

"It has been decided that state government would also make arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy people amongst those excluded from NRC. As it may not be possible for all those excluded from final NRC to file the appeal within the prescribed time, the MHA will amend the rules to increase the present time limit of filing of appeals in foreigners tribunal from 60 days to 120 days regarding exclusion from final NRC," said the statement said, noted PTI.

This move came ahead of the publication of the final National Register for Citizens (NRC) list on 31 August as directed by the Supreme Court.

 Assam NRC: Ahead of final list, MHA increases time limit for filing appeals in foreigners tribunal to 120 days

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

It was also decided that adequate arrangements will be made by the state government to provide full opportunity to people excluded from the NRC list to appeal.

"Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the appellate authority ie, foreigner tribunal," it said.

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, are also being amended accordingly. To maintain law and order, the ministry said, central security forces are being provided to the state.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Monday that the legislative domain might be considered to deal with the wrongful exclusions or inclusions in the NRC and required corrective measures will be taken after NRC gets published within the Supreme Court mandated deadline.

When Sonowal was asked about the possibility of such a move, after the Supreme Court rejected a joint plea by the Centre and state for extending the NRC deadline to enable a sample reverification, he said, “After the NRC final list is published on 31 August, you know that under our democracy we have that right. You can also raise a question. If it is necessary to take a step in that direction, we will discuss it”, reported The Indian Express.

In July this year, the government of Assam and the Centre sought the apex court’s permission to re-verify 20 percent of the names included in the final draft in the districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 percent in other areas. But the Supreme Court rejected the Central and Assam governments' plea for sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusion or exclusion of names.

Both the Central and state government appealed to the apex court after an additional 1.02 lakh people were also included last month in the list of excluded persons taking the number of ineligible persons to 41 lakh. On 30 July last year, over 40 lakh people were excluded from the draft NRC, which contained 2.89 crore eligible people out of a total of 3.29 crore applicants.

As reported by The Times of India, thousands of people continue to face uncertainty over whether they will make it to the final NRC list or not. Thus, organisations aligned with the Sangh Parivar have stepped up their campaign against NRC’s publication.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 20, 2019 16:05:17 IST