Thursday, October 29, 2020
Top Stories

Supreme Court seeks objections to report on Assam Citizens’ List

supreme court

New Delhi, October 23: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre and the Assam government to file their objections to a report of NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela on use of five documents for verification of citizenship claims of around 40 lakh people who have been left out in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman considered the report of Hajela whether five documents, which were not allowed so far for considering the citizenship claims, can now be used.
“We are of the view that all the stake holders including the State of Assam and the Union of India should be allowed to file their objections to the stand taken by Hajela in his aforesaid report dated October 4, 2018, a copy whereof would be furnished by the Registry of this court to the following stake-holders in the next two days,” the bench said.
It also granted opportunity to All Assam Students Union, All Assam Minorities Students’ Union, Jamait Ulama -i-Hind, Assam Public Works, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenous Tribal Peoples Federation and Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees to file their objections, if any.
The top court also directed Hajela to give a powerpoint presentation of the manner in which he had proceeded in preparation of the manual and the computer family tree for the purposes of deciding on the inclusion of names in the draft NRC.
“The power-point presentation will be given by Hajela to the officials of the government of Assam and the Union of India in the presence of Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General or his authorised representative(s) as may be and also in the presence of one representative of all the other stake-holders,” the court said.
It said that once written objections are received on or before October 30, further orders in the matter will be passed on November 1.
For the time being, 10 legacy documents can be used for inclusion and exclusion in the draft NRC, which should have been issued by various authorities and corporations since midnight of March 24, 1971.
These include land documents like registered sale deed, permanent residential certificate issued from outside the State, passport and LIC insurance policy of the relevant period.
Other documents which can be relied upon include any licence or certificate issued by a government authority of the relevant period, papers showing service or employment under government or public sector undertaking, bank or post office accounts, birth certificates, educational certificate and records or processes pertaining to courts, provided they are part of a processing in a judicial or revenue court.
The final draft NRC list was published on July 30 in which names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 in accordance with the top court’s direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.
Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951. (PTI)