Citizenship Rules 2003 for NRC shows NPR link

The rules framed in December 2003 by the A B Vajpayee government.
Last Updated 25 December 2019, 09:25 IST

From Home Minister Amit Shah to officials, several may insist that preparation of a National Population Register (NPR) has nothing to do with the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) but the rules framed in December 2003 by the A B Vajpayee government clearly shows that both are linked.

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 framed for the NRC shows that NPR is a precursor of the NCR and data collected during NPR exercise will be used for verification and scrutiny for the NRC. The rules were notified on 10 December, 2003.

After the Union Cabinet cleared the way for the updation of NPR next year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar emphatically said both are not linked and that the NPR data cannot be used for NRC.

"There is no connection between the processes of NPR and NRC. They cannot be used in each other survey. NPR data cannot be used for NRC. Even the laws are different," Shah told ANI. Similar arguments were also used by Javadekar during a press conference to provide details about the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday.

While Shah and Javadekar insist that they are repeating what the UPA did in 2010, the Opposition said that NPR exercise was never linked the NPR exercise with the NRC and it did not culminate in an NRC.

While at least nine replies given by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Parliament since Narendra Modi government assumed power in 2014 had described NPR as the "first step" towards NRC, the 2003 rules said the Centre may decide a date by which the Population Register shall be prepared by collecting information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of Local Registrar.

Rule 3(5) says the Local Register of Indian citizens should contain details of persons after due verification made from the Population Register.

"For the purposes of preparation and inclusion in the Local Register of Indian Citizens, the particulars collected of every family and individual in the Population Register shall be verified and scrutinized by the Local Registrar...," Rule 4(3) of the rules says.

"During the verification process, particulars of such individuals, whose citizenship is doubtful, shall be entered by the Local Registrar with appropriate remark in the Population Register for further enquiry and in case of doubtful Citizenship, the individual or the family shall be informed in a specified proforma immediately after the verification process is over," Rule 4(4) says.

The rules also put the onus on the head of every family to give the correct details of name and number of members and other particulars of the family during the NPR exercise.

It also says any officer authorised by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration can call for any records at any time may for examination and issue directions regarding inclusion or exclusion of any individual or family particulars from the Population Register or Local Register of Indian Citizens.

(Published 25 December 2019, 09:05 IST)

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