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The Supreme Court today extended the deadline for filing of claims and objections for inclusion in National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam to December 31.
A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman passed the order after hearing the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for the State of Assam.
Mehta sought extension of deadline which the Bench allowed.
The date of commencement of verification process will now be February 15 instead of February 1.
“The last date for submission of claims and objections fixed on 15th December, 2018, is extended to 31st December, 2018. Consequently, the process of commencement of verification scheduled earlier on 1st February, 2019, is shifted to 15th February, 2019. All concerned to act accordingly.”
Further, the Court also directed that in order to facilitate filing of objections against wrongful inclusions, the copies of the draft NRC be made available for inspection of all concerned at convenient locations. This includes Office of the District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner, Sub-Divisional Offices (Civil), Circle Offices and Gram Panchayats.
Filing of objections can be done at the District headquarters, the Court directed.
“Insofar as the prayer for filing of objections is concerned, we direct that to facilitate filing of objections against wrongful inclusions, the copies of the draft NRC be made available for inspection of all concerned at convenient locations i.e. Office of the District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner, Sub-Divisional Offices (Civil), Circle Offices and Gram Panchayats. We further direct that so far as the filing of objections are concerned, the same may be done at the District Headquarters.”
The Court also directed that List B documents be accpeted regardless of the date of issuance of the same. Such acceptance would be on adequate and full satisfaction of the concerned NRC authority who will be free to act on the basis of such satisfaction.
The Draft NRC for Assam came under the Court’s scanner earlier this year, after protest over non-inclusion of names. The NRC Draft submitted before the Court last July had a total of 2,89,83,677 persons included, leaving a total of 40,70,707 as ineligible for inclusion. Out of the aforesaid 40,70,707 names, 37,59,630 names were rejected and 2,48,077 names were kept on hold.
During the last hearing, the NRC co-ordinator Prateek Hajela had submitted a report before the Supreme Court stating that five other documents should not be allowed to be used for claiming inclusion in NRC.
However, the Court after considering the submissions made by various parties had refused to accept Hajela’s submissions. Instead, it had asked Hajela and his team to make the verification process vigorous and add additional layers of verification so as to prevent abuse and ensure that only eligible persons are included in the final NRC.
Along with the cases concerning the Assam NRC, the Court is also hearing another plea calling for State to update the NRC for Tripura. In Tripura’s case, the petitioners have submitted that it is necessary to update the NRC to identify illegal immigrants, delete them from voters lists, and subsequently deport them from India to restore the “socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political equilibrium of Tripura.”The Court had issued notice in this case in October.
Read the order below.