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Assam NRC data must be kept as secure as Aadhaar’s, orders SC

The Supreme Court last month extended the deadline to publish the final NRC list by a month to August 31.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that data collected for publishing in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam shall be kept as secure as the Aadhaar data.

The court said that there will be no re-verification of the data under NRC and at no point in time the NRC exercise will be reopened. The court also observed that only hard copies of exclusion and inclusion should be provided at district offices.

“Those born after December 3, 2004, won’t be included in NRC if any of the parents is a doubtful voter or declared foreigner by a tribunal or is contesting the case,” the court said.

The orders under Illegal Migrants (after the order of the Tribunal) shall be challenged before the Guwahati High Court.

All NRC exclusion should be published only online on August 31.

The Supreme Court last month extended the deadline to publish the final NRC list by a month to August 31.

The development came after the Centre told the apex court that “lakhs of illegal migrants have been included in the draft NRC” and therefore needed an extension of the deadline for the finalisation of the National Register of Citizens.

Solicitor General (SG) and senior Supreme Court lawyer, Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and Assam government said that lakhs of people have been wrongly included in the list in alleged collusion with local NRC officials in the state.

“Illegal immigrants have to be dealt with severely. India cannot be the refugee capital of the world,” he had argued.

The citizens’ list was scheduled for publication on July 31.

Till June, over one lakh people more were excluded from the draft NRC published in Assam.

The draft published on July 30, 2018, included the names of 2.9 crore people out of total applications of 3.29 crore. Forty lakh people were left out in the draft.

The update process of NRC started in 2013 when the Supreme Court of India passed orders for its update. Since then, the apex court bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R Fali Nariman has been monitoring it continuously. The entire project is headed by the State Coordinator of National Registration, Assam, Prateek Hajela under the strict monitoring of the Supreme Court.