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Assam draft NRC: Supreme Court orders resumption of filing of claims, objections by 40 lakh left-out people

Villagers, whose names were left out from the draft National Register of Citizens, being helped in filing the forms, in Morogaon district of Assam. File   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the opening of the process for receiving claims and objections from 40 lakh persons left out of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam from September 25.

A Special Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F. Nariman said the process would “tentatively” continue for a period of 60 days.

The claimants can rely on any one or more of the 10 additional documents, of a total of 15, detailed in the list of the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) submitted by the Centre. The court decided to leave out five among the 15 listed documents.

The Bench ordered NRC Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela to file a report with his views on the reliability of the five documents left out for the time being.

The court posted the hearing for October 23 to examine Mr. Hajela’s report and pass further orders.

Justice Ranjan Gogoi on the Special Bench hearing the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) case observed on Wednesday that by allowing the claimants to file extra papers, the apex court was giving them a ‘second chance’ to prove their Indian legacy.

“Usually, the process of claims and objections would have been restricted to whether the initial verification done on the originally submitted legacy documents was correct or not. But we are doing this as a concession knowing that the possibility of misuse is enormous,” Justice Gogoi orally observed, before passing the order to begin the process for receiving claims and objections from 40 lakh persons left out of the draft NRC. The Bench, which ordered NRC Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela to file a report on the reliability of the five documents left out, said it was apprehensive that these were “capable of being manufactured.”

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

The Centre objected to their exclusion.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:11:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/assam-nrc-supreme-court-orders-resumption-of-filing-of-claims-objections-by-those-left-out/article24985377.ece

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