SC extends deadline for NRC publication to Aug 31

SC extends deadline for NRC publication to Aug 31

A picture of the Supreme Court. (PTI)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the deadline for publication of the final National Register for Citizens in Assam from July 31 to August 31, 2019. A special bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman, however, declined a plea by the Centre and Assam for 20 % sample re-verification of those included and excluded from the NRC. 

The court relied upon the July 10 report of the NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela to extend the last date for publication of the final NRC. He had cited various factors including flood in the state as grounds for it. "We are more than satisfied, we are willing to grant an extension," the bench said. 

During the hearing, Mehta, appearing for the Assam government, the plea for 20 % sample re-verification must be examined. "We are not inclined for re-verification. We have discussed among ourselves," the bench said.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said this is something which affects life of people. "Everything, what we do, affects the life of the people. Should we postpone our decision," the bench asked him.

Venugopal said if it was done, nobody would be prejudiced. More time is anyway being given. At least, in bordering districts, sample re-verification up to 5% of wrongful inclusions and exclusions must be undertaken. The court, however, said it had considered a report of August 2018 which stated that 20% sample re-verification was already done.

The top court had previously declared several times that the process for finalisation of the National Register for Citizens in Assam must be completed on or before July 31. At the moment, objections were being considered of those 40 lakh people left out of the NRC.

The draft NRC was published on July 30, last in which names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people, were left out.