Assam NRC final list: What happens to those excluded?

Assam NRC final list: What happens to those excluded?

Kamrup: An official takes photo of an applicant to submit her bio-metrics data ahead of NRC final draft publication at Hatipara village in Kamrup. (PTI Photo)

The final list of the National Register of Citizens in Assam was released on the morning of August 31. Among the 3.33 crore applicants, almost 19 lakh were excluded from the list, rendering them stateless for the moment. However, that does not mean they are 'illegal immigrants' so soon.

People born on or before March 25, 1971 in Assam were supposed to be included in the final NRC list. Failing to prove this would mean that they would not be included.

People whose names have been excluded do have some recourse available to prove their citizenship and get their name included. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs has stated that there is a 120-day window for those excluded to appeal to the 'Foreigners Tribunal' to include their names. "No one will be declared a foreigner immediately, no one will be sent to detention centres," an MHA official told The Hindu.

The Foreigners’ Tribunals are quasi-judicial establishments headed by members who are lawyers and retired judges and bureaucrats. Once the appeal is submitted, the Tribunal has to decide on the case within six months. Currently, there are a 100 Tribunals set up but the Central government is planning to expand it to 1000, with 200 of them set to be formed in September, stated The Hindu.

The people can also approach the Guwahati High Court or even the Supreme Court in case they are not satisfied with the response of the Foreigners Tribunal.