Supreme Court defers process of receiving claims, objections to Assam NRC; next hearing on 19 Sept

The Supreme Court examined the report submitted by Assam NRC coordinator Pratik Hajela, in which he mentioned the ramifications of allowing the over 40 lakh people excluded from the list change their documents.

FP Staff September 05, 2018 15:55:25 IST
Supreme Court defers process of receiving claims, objections to Assam NRC; next hearing on 19 Sept

The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred the commencement of the process of receiving claims and objections for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam till further orders.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman examined the report of NRC coordinator Pratik Hajela, in which he said that a claimant can rely on 10 of the 15 documents mentioned in list A to stake claim in Assam's register of citizens.

The bench asked Attorney General of India KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, and other stakeholders to file their response to Hajela's report in two weeks and scheduled the next hearing for 19 September.

Supreme Court defers process of receiving claims objections to Assam NRC next hearing on 19 Sept

File image of Supreme Court. AP

On 28 August, the Supreme Court had said it could consider re-verification of 10 percent of the people who were included in the final draft of the Assam NRC, an exercise that could be carried out by an independent team.

The bench said that the Government of India will not be given the report submitted by the Assam NRC coordinator to the top court on the consequences of the 40 lakh people excluded from the final draft being allowed to change their legacy data, reported CNN News18. The top court had called the NRC issue a "human problem with great magnitude" and had asked Hajela to submit a report in a sealed envelop on the ramifications of allowing the claimants to file a new sets of legacy documents.

The Centre on Wednesday told the court that it has great interest in the matter, after which the bench said the government may be interested but the court has to "balance things".

The Assam NRC draft features the names, addresses and photographs of all Indian citizens who have been living in the northeastern state since before 25 March, 1971. The list has been updated for the first time since 1951 to account for illegal migration from Bangladesh.

The final draft of the Assam NRC was published on 30 July, in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list, of which 37,59,630 names were rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.

On 31 July, the Supreme Court had made it clear that authorities should not take any coercive action against these 40 lakh people, observing that the list released was merely a draft.

On 14 August, the Centre had told the top court that distinct IDs will be created by collecting the biometric details of the over 40 lakh people filing claims and objections with respect to the NRC final draft.

The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of 31 December and 1 January in accordance with the top court's direction. The names of 1.9 crore people of the 3.29 crore applicants were included then.

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