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NRC Assam: Supreme Court Rulings Expected Today

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NRC sample re-verification & deadline extension

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The crucial rulings of the Supreme Court are expected on Tuesday on two key aspects of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), viz., sample re-verification and extension of the deadline for publication of the citizens’ register beyond July 31. On the other hand, the State Home and Political Department has extended the deadline for completion of pending biometric enrollment (BME) with reference to the NRC and has now asked the deputy commissioners to complete the process by July 31. The Department had earlier pegged July 15 for completion of BME pertaining to the remaining 10% of the 36.2 lakh people who had submitted claims for inclusion in the final NRC. Objections were filed against 2 lakh people whose names were included in the complete draft NRC.

Meanwhile, the apex court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman has set 3 pm on July 23 for hearing the pleas of the Central and State governments for 20% verification of names in the districts bordering Bangladesh and 10% in the other districts of the State. The Supreme Court is also expected to give its ruling on the plea by State NRC Coordinator for extension of the SC-slated July 31 deadline for publication of the final NRC citing the prevailing flood situation in Assam.

The sample re-verification plea of the governments was made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for both the governments during the last hearing on July 19, 2019. “Please extend the deadline for publication of final Assam NRC from July 31 to a future date. There is a growing perception that many exclusions and many more inclusions have been made wrongly,” Mehta said. “India cannot be the refugee capital of the world,” he said, adding there was a need to re-look the draft NRC list through sample verification.

The Supreme Court then questioned the governments the necessity of holding such verification especially when the State Coordinator of NRC Prateek Hazela had informed the court that already verification of 27% or about 80 lakh people was completed during the sample verification.

The top court directed the NRC coordinator to share his reports of July 10 and 18 after excluding those which may not be important to decide on the issue of sample re-verification. After sharing the reports, the Centre and State governments again pleaded before the apex court for sample re-verification of complete draft NRC.

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