GUWAHATI: The Supreme Court has ordered the Centre to maintain AADHAAR-like secrecy for the NRC data.
“An appropriate regime must be enacted on lines similar to the security regime provided for AADHAAR data,” a Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman said in its verdict passed on Tuesday. Only after enacting an appropriate regime the NRC lists of inclusions and exclusions will be made available to the Centre, Registrar General of India and State Government, the Apex Court said.
The SC has further directed that only hard-copies of the supplementary list of inclusions be published at the NRC Seva Centers, Circle offices and offices of Deputy Commissioners. The court also directed the NRC authority to publish the list of exclusions on August 31 only on on-line. The exclusion list should be published family-wise.
On other hand, the SC on Tuesday rejected the pleas of Centre and Assam Government to re-open the NRC update process and conduct a sample re-verification of data collected, especially in the districts of the State sharing Assam-Bangladesh border.
The SC recently heard the issue of whether those declared Indians under the now-abrogated IM (DT) Act could be enrolled in the final updated NRC. The court on Tuesday ruled that such cases would be governed by the decision of Gauhati High Court.
The SC last week heard a few crucial issues pertaining to the Citizenship Act. According to the Citizenship Act, in the event of one of a couple being an Indian, their sons and daughters born before December 3, 2004 will be considered Indians. The same Act also says that people born after December 3, 2004 will not be considered Indians if one of their parents is an Indian and the other parent is an illegal migrant. The NRC authority sought clarifications from the SC on such provisions of the Citizenship Act before publication of the final NRC.
The apex court on Tuesday said it has considered the provisions under Section 3 and 6(a) of the Citizenship Act as well as the prescribed rules under the Act. “The entire NRC exercise having been performed on aforesaid basis cannot now be ordered to be reopened.” This effectively implies that all persons born after December 3, 2004, will be excluded from the NRC should any of their parents be declared a foreigner by the tribunal, or if their registered voter status is under doubt.