During a hearing on NRC on Tuesday, the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC), asked the Assam government and Centre to "behave like a state and not an individual". The comments from the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman came when the center and Assam government insisted on five out of the 15 documents, left out by SC for those) whose name did not figure in draft NRC, for filing claims and objections. It may be mentioned that the final draft of NRC which released on 31st of July 2018 had triggered a controversy after 40 lakh persons were left out of its draft, the Supreme Court on Tuesday
The dropping of 40 lakh people had caused a political storm and a wave of accusations, charges, and countercharges between the Modi government and the Opposition. On September 19, the last date of hearing, the court had said the process of filing claims and objections will continue for 60 days.
The five documents which the SC had recommended to be omitted are names in NRC, 1951; names in the electoral roll up to March 24, 1971; citizenship certificate; refugee registration certificate; certified copies of the pre-1971 electoral roll, particularly, those issued from Tripura; and ration card. The Centre has been objecting to their exclusion.
It may be mentioned that SC favoured the exclusion after NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela in his report said that these five documents cannot be permitted as their "introduction now will create problems". The bench asked Hajela to give a power point presentation to Attorney General KK Venugopal and ASG Tushar Mehta who appeared for Centre and representatives of Assam government and other stakeholders so that it gives a "clarity regarding his objections."
All stakeholders have been asked to file their stand on Hajela's report objecting to five documents by October 30. Next hearing has been fixed for November. On September 19, the last date of hearing of the bench led by CJI Gogoi had ordered the opening of the process for receiving claims and objections from 40 lakh persons left out of the draft NRC.
The SC had said claimants can rely on any one or more of the 10 additional documents, of a total of 15, detailed in the list of the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) submitted by the Centre. The court decided to leave out five among the 15 listed documents which have now created a row.