No penalty on rejection of claims and objections in Assam’s NRC exercise, says officials

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Guwahati, August 12: Allaying apprehensions, officials involved with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating exercise in Assam have assured that applicants whose claims and objections are rejected will not face any penalty.
Over 40 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants had found their names missing from the complete draft of the register, that seeks to prove citizenship and weed out illegal immigrants, released on July 30.
Those left out can file claims to be included. Anyone can file objections against inclusion on ineligible applicants in the complete draft. Corrections of names, age and other details would also take place simultaneously.
But due to confusion about the process there were rumours that if objections raised against inclusion of ineligible persons lacked proof, penalty might be imposed on the individual who raised objection.
“I have heard that a penalty of Rs 50,000 would be imposed on whose who file objections but are not able to prove it. If such penalties are there who’s going to file objections,” senior Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta had told HT recently.
Although the forms meant for objections are yet to be made available, there were reports that it contains a clause whereby the objector would be liable to penalty if information submitted is found to be false.
But NRC officials on condition of anonymity clarified that no such action would be initiated.
An advertisement put out by the NRC and the Registrar General of Citizen Registration in local newspapers on Sunday said, “There is no penalty for rejection of any claim and objection.”
Distribution of forms for these exercises was to begin on August 7, but it was shifted to August 10. But on August 10, applicants only got forms to know reasons for their exclusion.
Now forms for claims, objections and corrections will be available from August 20. The filled forms for claims and objections have to be deposited in NRC centres of the applicants while corrections can be made online.
The filled forms for claims, objections and corrections can be submitted from August 30 to September 28.
The final NRC list would be published only after disposal of all claims, objections and corrections. No date has been set for that as yet. (Courtesy: HT)