NRC appeal time may get extended
According to the final NRC released on August 31, of the 33 million applicants, 3.11 million figured in the list while the names of over 1.9 million were left out.Updated: Sep 05, 2019 07:22 IST
The 1.9 million people of Assam excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) could have the 120 days’ deadline to challenge their exclusion before a foreigners’ tribunal extended, a senior government official who did not want to be named said.
According to the final NRC released on August 31, of the 33 million applicants, 3.11 million figured in the list while the names of over 1.9 million were left out.
Recently, the Centre extended the deadline for people to appeal against their exclusion from NRC before the foreigners’ tribunals, quasi-judicial bodies set up to adjudicate whether someone is an illegal migrant, from 60 days to 120 days beginning August 31.
The extension in the deadline is being considered because the NRC authority is yet to issue certificates citing the reasons for their exclusion from the list of Assam’s residents – a condition laid down by the Supreme Court that was supervising the process. In addition, the court had also asked the NRC authorities to secure the data as well before issuing certificates stating the reasons for exclusion.
The NRC coordinator may approach the Supreme Court (SC) of India to allow those excluded more time, the official cited above said and added, “the government is considering the 120 days’ deadline to appeal against the exclusion should start after the issue of the certificate citing reasons for exclusion.”
Separately, South Block has cleared an additional 200 foreigners' tribunals.
There are 100 functional foreigners tribunals in Assam whereas 200 tribunals had been cleared earlier. With the fresh sanctions for another 200, the total number of foreigners tribunals would touch 500.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has also said that exclusion of anyone’s name from the NRC does not mean that the person has automatically become a foreigner as such a decision can only be taken by a foreigners tribunal after following a proper legal process.
The NRC is aimed at identifying and weeding out illegal immigrants from citizenship rolls. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has repeatedly promised that people who are excluded from the register will have 120 days to appeal before a foreigners’ tribunal, a quasi-judicial body set up to adjudicate whether someone is an illegal migrant. He has also stressed that no deportation or drastic curtailing of political rights will take place.