Assam govt to urge Supreme Court to order re-verification of NRC ahead of claims
The Assam government has decided to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking an order that re-verification of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) be completed before the claims and objections exercise begins amid concerns that many illegal immigrants may have made it to the draft, a top official said.
The state government is also miffed that it does not have the details of those who have been excluded. The draft included 2.89 crore people while 40,07,707 were left out.
In its affidavit to the court before the next hearing on September 19, the state government is also expected to urge the court to order NRC authorities to suo moto include a section of ‘original inhabitants’ and those from other parts of the country who have been left out of the draft, without having to go through the ‘harassment’ of filing claims, a top official said.
“Those who should have been out seem to have gotten in and some of those who should have been in are out. We are also going to urge the court that re-verification should be completed before the people submit claims and hearings start,” said LS Changsan, Principal Secretary, Home and Political Department.
Suggesting that the state government had been kept out of the loop by Prateek Hajela, the state coordinator of National Register of Citizens, Changsan said the state government would also request the Supreme Court that it be told of the modalities and details of the re-verification exercise being proposed by Hajela.
“The verification needs to be done in a well planned and thorough manner,” she said.
The Supreme Court, after going through the district wise details had said it was considering the necessity of re-verification of at least a 10% sample of those who have been included from every district. The Court had asked Hajela to submit a report on the time frame for such an exercise.
The court is also in the process of finalizing the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the claims and objections exercise once the stake holders submit their views on the submissions made by Hajela.
Officials said the state government was caught completely off guard by Hajela’s recent submissions to the court that only 10 out of the 15 documents could be submitted afresh in the claims exercise.
Changsan pointed out that in the initial draft of the proposed SOP prepared by the Centre, in consultation with the state government and the NRC secretariat it was clearly mentioned that all the documents that could be submitted at the time of application could be submitted again.
“We will ask the court to allow submission of all 15 documents afresh by those who have been excluded,” Changsan said.
The state government is also going to request the court that it be given the details of those who have been excluded from the NRC. The NRC exercise is a Supreme Court mandated one and the data has not been shared with the state government.
“We are compelled to ask for it to be prepared on the law and order front, for security planning and to ensure no targeted discrimination happens,” Changsan said adding how the state government has not been given any details yet.
Meanwhile, in another indicator that there is lack of coordination between the NRC secretariat and the state government, the latter is in the process of making a common database of declared foreigners, doubtful voters and those whose cases are pending with the foreigners tribunals.
Initially, this database was to be designed by Hajela. “We have asked the Border Organisation to prepare our own database now,” Changsan said. “The details of those who are in the NRC and who are out will be added to it later once we have those details,” she said.