GUWAHATI: At a time when the NRC (National Register of Citizens) authority is preparing for publication of the final citizens’ register on July 31, in a significant development both the Central and the Assam governments have submitted a petition to the Supreme Court seeking ‘sample re-verification’ of names in the complete draft NRC already published on July 30, 2018. Against the backdrop of the joint pleas of the Central and State governments, the next hearing of the apex court on the NRC will be crucial.
The pleas of the Central and State governments were made following complaints received from several organizations that names of some people with suspected nationality were included in a few districts.
The petitioners have sought sample re-verification on three points: 20% in districts bordering Bangladesh as well as in districts from where there are reports of high population growth; and 10% sample re-verification in the remaining districts of the State.
A high-level source in the Political and Home Department told The Sentinel, “Now the matter lies with the Supreme Court.”
Out of 3,29,91,384 applicants who had applied for inclusion in the NRC; names of 2,89,83,677 appeared in the complete draft NRC while about 40.07 lakh people were found ineligible for inclusion.
Earlier also after the publication of the complete draft NRC on July 30, 2018, both the governments had moved the apex court for sample re-verification in the complete draft of the citizens’ register. The Supreme Court then stated that 10% re-verification of the names could be possible if required.
The Supreme Court order on August 28, 2018 read, “At this stage, we may also indicate that pursuant to our previous order dated 16th August, 2018 Shri Hajela has placed before us a district-wise data of the percentage of the population who have been excluded from the final draft NRC. Having perused the same we are of the view that the Court should consider the necessity of carrying out the sample re-verification of at least 10% of the names included in the final draft NRC, if required, by a team of NSK Personnel from a neighbouring district. Shri Hajela is also requested to submit a report in this regard and the possible time frame when such an exercise can begin if ordered by the Court and the time frame within which the same can be completed.”