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Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

NRC case in SC: Centre, Assam seek sample re-verification

india Updated: Jul 17, 2019 08:02 IST

NEW DELHI: As the July 31 deadline to publish the final list of Assam’s National Register for Citizens (NRC) approaches, the Centre and the state have moved the Supreme Court seeking sample re-verification of 20% names in the draft list in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10% in the remaining areas.

The need for such an exercise has arisen following representations Assam has received from several organizations over wrongful inclusion and exclusion of names, the applications said. Re-verification must be done for both inclusion and exclusion, they submitted.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta mentioned the applications on Tuesday before the court of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and urged him to hear them before the deadline. Initially, the CJI said he would hear it on August 1 but later agreed to look into the request

The state said the exercise was essential in view of allegations of bribery playing a key role in the inclusion of several names despite such people being declared illegal foreigners by designated tribunals.

Both pointed out that on August 28, 2018, the apex court bench of CJI Gogoi and justice RF Nariman had agreed to consider the necessity of carrying out sample re-verification of at least 10% names included in the final list of the NRC. However, the court did not pass any subsequent orders for re-verification.

Re-verification, the Centre and state said, should be done by Class I officers of the state who have knowledge and experience of handling the process of enquiry and investigation. Also, it should be done at a venue different from the one where NRC verification was done.

“There have been several instances where foreigners who were detected and declared as such by tribunals have been included in the draft NRC. Even cases of declared foreigners having been engaged as NRC officials have come to light,” Assam said in its plea.

The Centre’s application said, “It is submitted that preparation of NRC involves verification of documents produced and involves a large number of officials and people working at the ground level. The sensitivity and complexity of the matter are also evident from the fact that the said exercise has been going on since 2013.”

The draft list, published on July 30 last year, contained 2,89,63,877 names and left out over 40,00,000 as ineligible for inclusion. The preparation of the NRC was undertaken in 2013 on court orders, with the objective of identifying and deporting illegal immigrants to find a permanent solution to the problem of illegal immigration in the state. The court ordered the state co-ordinator to consider claims and objections against the draft NRC list, after which December 31, 2018, was fixed as the deadline to accept them.

Over 36 lakh claims and 2 lakh objections were filed before the state co-ordinator, the hearing for which commenced in February 2019

First Published: Jul 16, 2019 23:58 IST

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