New Delhi, August 20: People who are excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) can now appeal within 120 days instead of previous 60 days, the Union Home Ministry has said.
The development comes a day after Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal hinted at taking a legislative route for appeals by those not included in the NRC.
The final NRC list is to be published before August 31, 2019 as per orders of the Supreme Court that is supervising the process.
The NRC is an elaborate process of identifying foreign nationals that started in 2014. Midnight of March 24, 1971, is the cut-off date based on which Assam residents have to prove their nationality by submitting specific documents as proof.
“The ministry of home affairs will amend the rules to increase the present time limit of filing of appeals in foreigners tribunals from 60 days to 120 days. The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of Nationa Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 are also being amended accordingly,” a home ministry spokesperson said.
The draft NCR was published on 30 July 2018. It created controversy after leaving out 41 lakh people. Those who have failed to qualify as Indian citizens will have the option to approach the foreigners tribunals.
On Monday, Assam CM Sarbonanda Sonowal and Union home minister Amit Shah met to review the NRC process.
The home ministry spokesperson said that it was decided in the meeting that adequate arrangements will be made by the Assam government to provide opportunity to the persons whose names have been excluded from the final NRC to appeal.
“Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the foreigners tribunals. Only foreigners tribunals can declare a person as a foreigner. Thus, non-inclusion of a person’s name in NRC does not by itself amount to being declared as a foreigner,” the home ministry spokesperson said. (Courtesy: HT)