NRC outcasts: SC pulls up Centre, Assam over documents

NRC outcasts: SC pulls up Centre, Assam over documents

The Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Centre and the Assam government to respond by October 30 to a report by the National Register of Citizens coordinator asking why five documents, including ration cards, were not to be relied upon for accepting citizenship claims of those left out of the register prepared in the state.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman took on record two reports submitted by National Register for Citizens coordinator Prateek Hajela, including the one questioning why it was inexpedient to accept the five documents.

The documents are -- names in NRC, 1951; electoral roll up to 24th March, 1971; citizenship certificate and refugee registration certificate; certified copies of pre-1971 electoral roll, particularly, those issued from the State of Tripura; and ration card.

The outcasts

The top court had on September 19 directed to start from September 25 the 60-day process of receiving claims and objections from 40 lakh people left out of the NRC in Assam. The NRC is a register containing names of people identified as genuine Indian citizens residing in Assam.

On Tuesday, besides the Centre and the Assam government, the court also sought views of various organisations, including All Assam Students' Union, All Assam Minority Students’ Union, Jamait Ulama-i-Hind, Assam Public Works, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenous Tribal People's Federation and Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees, on the report by the NRC coordinator.

The court also directed Hajela to give a power point presentation to the Union government, Assam officials and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing some of the intervenors, to provide them “a deep insight into the mechanism of the manual family tree as well as the computer family tree, which is the basic exercise that was undertaken before preparation of the final draft NRC”.

The court posted the matter for consideration on November 1.

1 lakh claims

In the NRC list published on July 30, out of 3.29 crore people, the names of 2.89 crore were included. The names of 40,70,707 people do not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that so far only one lakh claims have been received for inclusion in the NRC as standard operating procedure has not been finalised.

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