Only 1032 doubtful cases from NRC referred for further action

Over 19 lakh persons were excluded from the final list for Assam

November 16, 2021 09:22 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 06:29 am IST - New Delhi

Villagers check their names in the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Photo used for representation purpose only.

Villagers check their names in the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Photo used for representation purpose only.

Only little over a thousand doubtful cases in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam have been referred to the concerned district commissioners for necessary action, State Coordinator of NRC , Assam has said in an RTI reply.

More than 19 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were excluded from the final draft register published on August 31, 2019, which cost ₹1,220 crore.

The BJP-ruled Assam government has rejected the NRC in its current form and demanded re-verification of at least 30% names in areas bordering Bangladesh and 10% in the rest of the State. The NRC Coordinator had approached the Supreme Court in May seeking re-verification of the list. The Registrar General of India under Home Ministry had on March 23 this year told the Assam government that issuance of “rejection slips” to those excluded from the final draft shall be completed on “mission mode.” The State Coordinator is a Secretary rank officer of Assam government who assists the RGI as citizenship is a central subject.

In response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by The Hindu , the Office of State Coordinator of NRC, Assam said, “1032 number of cases of DV/DF/PFT/ DVD/DFD/ PFTD categories have been referred to the concerned Deputy Commissioner to take necessary action as per Clause 4(3) & 4(6) of the Schedule 4(A) 4 of Rules of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003.”

The abbreviations cited above stand for doubtful voters, declared foreigners, reference pending at Foreigners Tribunals (FT), descendants of D voters, descendants of declared foreigners, cases of declared foreigners pending in FTs. The tribunals unique to Assam are quasi-judicial bodies.

The reply added that as of now, no rejection slips have been issued and as per Clause 7 of Schedule 4(A) 4 of the Citizenship ( Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards ) Rules, 2003, the final NRC is yet to be published by the RGI.

“The Supplementary list for inclusion or deletion was published by the Local Registrar of Citizens Registration (LRCR) on 31st August, 2019. Rejection Slips can be issued only after publication of the Final NRC,” the reply stated, implying the delay is at the Centre’s end.

Each rejected person can approach the FTs within 120 days of receiving the rejection slips. Under Citizenship Rules any person may object to inclusion of any other person’s name in the citizen register or exclusion from the register, following which the local registrar (usually the revenue officer appointed by the State government) will issue a notice and the applicants will have to furnish documents to prove their claims. The register is published at village and ward level.

The reply added that the total budget for the publication of NRC was ₹1602.66 crore. “There is no any additional budget allocated for NRC in the year of 2020 by State or Central Government. In the year of 2021, ₹10.07 crore is allocated in State budget by the Government of Assam,” it said.

Assam is the only State where an NRC was compiled under the supervision of the apex court.

The exercise was a culmination of Assam Accord of 1985 signed between the Centre and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) for detection, disenfranchisement and deportation of foreigners.

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