Supreme Court chooses 10 documents for NRC enrolment, seeks Centre’s response

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday chose 10 of the 15 suggested identity proof documents for inclusion of left-out persons in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and sought the responses of the Centre and other stakeholders.

A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman picked up the 10 documents suggested by the Assam State Coordinator of NRC, Prateek Hajela, to deal with the claims of about 40 lakh people left out of the draft NRC.

Justice Nariman said that the 10 chosen documents will be authentic and the other five can be created.

The draft NRC published in Assam on July 30 included the names of 2,89,83,677 persons while the names of 40,07,707 others were missing. A total of 3,29,91,384 persons had applied for inclusion of their names.

The also bench refused to give Attorney General K.K. Venugopal a copy of a report submitted by Hajela in court in a sealed cover.

As the Attorney General repeatedly urged for supply to the government of a report copy that had 15 suggested documents, Justice Gogoi said: “The Attorney General has sought the report of the State Coordinator 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 stakeholders,” the court told Venugopal as he insisted that the “government is extremely interested” in knowing the report.

Seeking the response of the Centre and other stakeholders on the suggested 10 documents, the court fixed September 19 for the next hearing.

The court also extended the duration for filing of claims and objections.

As per the schedule, the filing of claims and objections was to commence on August 30 but the same was extended on August 28 to a “later date from the proposed one, namely August 30”.

The 10 identity proof documents include land documents, permanent residence certificate, life insurance policy of LIC, any licence/certificate issued by any government authority, documents showing service/employment under government or PSU, bank/post office account, birth certificate issued by competent authority, educational certificate issued by board/university and record/processes of judicial or revenue court.

All the documents have to be in existence up to midnight of March 24, 1971.

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), Indigenous 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 is in pursuance to the August 28 court directive to apprise it of the ramification of the Centre’s position that the people left out of the NRC draft 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 advantages/disadvantages that may accrue if the aforesaid modification/change of legacy is permitted”.

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