The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will not extend the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman also gave a “free hand” to Prateek Hajela, Assam NRC coordinator dealing with claims and objections of persons against wrong exclusion or inclusion of citizens in the NRC.
The direction came after Hajela informed the bench that many people, who had objected to the inclusion of certain individuals in the draft NRC are not coming forward before panels which are dealing with such complaints.
Earlier in February, the top court had pulled up the Centre for obstructing the process.
The top court rapped Ministry of Home Affairs for its plea seeking to stall the NRC work for two weeks keeping in mind the role of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in the election duty.
The SC had said on January 24 that the July 31, 2019 deadline to finalise the NRC for Assam cannot be extended. It had asked the state government, the NRC co-ordinator and the EC to ensure that the upcoming general elections did not slow down the process.
The draft National Register of Citizens for Assam was published on July 30, 2018, in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
The court has allowed claimants for Assam NRC to rely on five documents which were earlier objected to by NRC coordinator.
These five documents are NRC of 1951, voter list of 1966, voter list of 1971, refugee registration certificate till 1971 and ration card issued till 1971.
Until now, 10 legacy documents could be used for inclusion and exclusion in the draft NRC, which should have been issued by various authorities and corporations since midnight of March 24, 1971.
(With PTI inputs)