The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre's plea for a further extension of the deadline to publish the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam, and also dismissed the request for re-verification. Asserting that the NRC exercise will not be reopened, the bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that those born after 3 December, 2004 will not be included in the NRC if any of the parents "is a doubtful voter or is declared a foreigner by a tribunal or is contesting a case before a tribunal".
The bench also directed the government to publish the list of exclusion only on online platforms by 31 August and to keep the NRC data "as secure as Aadhaar data". The bench also ordered for the hard copies of the supplementary list and the inclusions to be given to the concerned district offices, once the final lists are published.
"Only hard copies of lists of inclusions and exclusions to be provided at district offices. NRC to be updated according to law laid down in Section 66A judgment", the bench said. "The entire NRC exercise cannot be ordered to be reopened on the basis of some legal challenges raised," it added.
The apex court bench also said that challenges to the orders given by the tribunals were to be raised before the Guwahati High Court. Reportedly, the NRC Assam has stated that the citizenship status of the people born in India between 1971 and 1987 "will be decided depending on the final decision by the Supreme Court Constitution Bench on the Citizenship Act provisions."
Last week, the apex court had reserved its order on the issue. "We will not be bothered by what others say about our orders and judgments. We will continue to oversee NRC finalised as per the scheduled date of 31 August," the bench had said.
On 23 July, the court had extended the deadline for the final publication of NRC in Assam from 31 July to 31 August. A division bench comprising Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman had passed the order on a plea filed by the Centre and Assam government for extension of the deadline. The court had, however, refused to allow a plea for 20 percent sample re-verification of those included and excluded from the NRC.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 13, 2019 11:36:00 IST