The Supreme Court on Wednesday chose 10 identity proof documents from a list of 15 to be accepted as a valid claim of people left out of the final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) and sought the views of the Centre and other stakeholders on the issue.
The bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman picked up the 10 documents suggested by the Assam State co-ordinator of NRC Prateek Hajela for dealing with the claims of about 40 lakh people, left out of the NRC, for their inclusion in the list.
Justice Nariman said that the 10 chosen documents will be authentic and other five can be created.
The bench refused to give Attorney General K. K. Venugopal a copy of the report submitted by the Hajela to the Court in a sealed cover.
As the Attorney General repeatedly urged the Court to give the government a copy of the report carrying 15 suggested documents, Justice Gogoi said: “The Attorney General has sought the report of the State co-ordinator of NRC… At this stage we are of the view that what we have indicated in our order is sufficient.”
“The government may be interested. We want to balance the interest of all the stakeholders,” the Court told Venugopal as he insisted that “government is extremely interested” in knowing the report.
The Court told the Attorney General that they are extracting 15 suggested documents and also the 10 documents they have chosen are in their order and the government can have those from it.
Seeking the response of the Centre and other stakeholders on the suggested 10 documents that can be relied upon to back the claims for inclusion in citizens register, the Court fixed September 19 for the next hearing.
The court extended the date of the commencement of filing of claims and objections.
As per the schedule, the filing of claims and objections was to commence on August 30 but same was extended on August 28 to a “later date from the proposed one, namely 30th August, 2018”.
Besides the Centre, the Court has also sought the response of other stakeholders including Assam Public Works, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenious Tribal Peoples Federation, All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad, Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees, All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) and Jamait Ulama-i-Hind.
In its August 16 order, the court had asked the eight stakeholders to submit their views on the standard operating procedures prepared by the Centre setting out modalities for the claims and objections to the final draft of the NRC.
Hajela’s report was in pursuance to the August 28 order of the court asking him to apprise it of the ramification of the Centre’s position that the people left out of the final draft of the NRC be given another chance to establish their claim for inclusion in the list.
The move by the Centre also included changing the legacy and tinkering with the family tree.
The Court had asked Hajela to submit a “comprehensive report indicating the feasibility including the time taken and the advantages/disadvantages that may accrue if the aforesaid modification/change of legacy is permitted”.