The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the resumption of filing of claims and objections by those who have been left out in the draft Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC). The filing of claims would begin on September 25 and will go on for next 60 days, the top court said.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said, “We are of the view that all that which we are required to do at this stage is to open the filing of claims and objections with regard to inclusion in the draft NRC published in July this year.” It also made clear that the second opportunity has been granted to the citizens keeping in mind the “magnitude” of the issue.
The bench, which has now posted the matter for hearing on October 23, has sought the view of Prateek Hajela, coordinator of Assam NRC, on the stance of the central government with regard to applicability and non-applicability of certain documents for inclusion of names in the NRC.
In the second and final draft of the NRC, published on July 30, 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were included. The names of 40.07 lakh applicants did not find a place in the historic document, touted to be a proof of Assamese identity.
On September 5, the Supreme court had ordered that any one of the 10 of a total 15 documents provided in List-A of the claim form can be used by the claimants to prove legacy. It had also expressed reservation over sharing with the Centre the copy of the NRC Coordinator’s report on the modalities for receiving claims from those excluded in draft NRC, saying that although the Government of India was “extremely interested”, the court “has to strike a balance”.
The draft was criticised by the opposition parties, mainly Trinamool Congress which called it an attack on Muslims.
The NRC will include the names of all Indian citizens who have been residing in Assam before March 25, 1971
The application process for the NRC started in May 2015 and a total of 6.5 crore documents were received from 68.27 lakh families across Assam.
(With PTI inputs)