Centre’s SOP on NRC
* State NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela asked to file in a sealed cover the data of district-wise percentage of population, excluded from the complete draft NRC to SC
NEW DELHI, Aug 16: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the opinions of stakeholders including the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Assam Public Work (APW), All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, on the modalities and Standard Operating Procedures for filing and disposal of claims and objections regarding the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A three-member bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph at the same time asked the State NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela to file in a sealed cover the data of district-wise percentage of population, excluded from the complete draft NRC published on July 30. The apex court also decided not to seek the views of any political party in this regard.
“At this stage without commenting on any of the modalities suggested on behalf of the Union of India in consultation with the Government of Assam, Registrar General of India and State Coordinator for NRC, we are of the view that the stakeholders ought to be given time until August 25, 2018 to indicate their views in the matter,” the court said.
Besides AASU, APW AAMSU and the Jamiat, the Supreme Court sought views of stakeholders which include, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha (an indigenous people’s organisation of Assam), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenous Tribal Peoples Federation, All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad and the Joint Action Committee for Bengali Refugees.
The Supreme Court also asked Hajela to make available a copy of report in sealed cover giving the percentage of the population in each district who have been left out of the final draft NRC and the percentage-wise data of the population excluded from draft NRC by August 25. The court posted the matter for further hearing on August 28.
While submitting the SOP on August 14, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that distinct IDs will be created by collecting biometric details of 40 lakh people (whose names are missing) filing claims and objections with respect to the NRC.
The court on Thursday has also directed Hajeela to avoid taking opinions of any political party in framing the SOP.
The apex court has directed Hajela to make available the copies of draft NRC at all panchayat offices so that public can access it easily.
The top court said that the claim and objection forms on the Assam NRC issue will be made available to the general public from August 20.
It also said that the receipt of claim and objection forms from the public will commence on August 30.
The court will again take up the matter for further hearing on August 28.
Hailing the direction of the Supreme Court, Assam Public Works President, Abhijit Sharma said that they will submit their take on the modalities to the government.
“We have already worked out modalities to include the names of genuine Indian people who are missing from the NRC lists. Now APW will submit the modalities to the government,” said Sharma adding “Earlier state government did not listen to them. But with the apex court direction, we can now submit the modalities.”