* Legacy data norms relaxed for indigenous people, tea tribes, migrants from other states
* Apex court firm on Citizenship Law, constitutes 3-member panel to look into modality hassles
* Constitution bench to look into citizenship of children born to illegal Bangladeshi migrants in India
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 21: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition by Assam government seeking the 2014 electoral rolls as an additiol document for inclusion of mes in the tiol Register of Citizens (NRC).
A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N Fali riman took up a slew of petitions today filed by different organizations including the AASU, AGP and APW, besides the State government.
AASU and AGP had opposed the State government's plea seeking 2014 electoral rolls as an additiol document.
The apex court said the preparation of NRC will be in accordance with the Citizenship Act, 1955 of rules 2003. "Rule 3(3) of the Act will clarify the origil inhabitants of Assam, tea tribes and other indigenous people of Assam," the court said.
Members of the tea tribes, indigenous people and origil inhabitants residing in Assam who do not have legacy data can "satisfy the NRC department and include their mes in NRC. The Register General of India can give any further directions if required," the bench said.
Regarding people who have migrated to Assam from other states, the apex court said they will have to produce any document of proof that they were residents of India before 24th March, 1971.
The court also constituted a three-member panel of former judges of Guwahati High Court to address the problems arising out of modalities for NRC update. The committee comprises of former justices Aftab Hussain Saikia, D Biswash and JN Choudhury and will have a member from the State government. "The committee will look after the modalities and help in preparation of the NRC smoothly," the apex court said.
As for the State government seeking an extension of the last date of submission of NRC forms, the apex court said it will not fix any date, but maintained that the exercise has to be completed by January 1 next year.
"If any person is found opposing, making problems or obstructing the preparation of NRC, it may be reported to the committee of former judges. The committee will report it to the Supreme Court," the bench said. The Supreme Court also referred to the constitution bench the question whether the children born to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were Indian citizens by virtue of their being born here.
Section 3 of the Citizenship Act provides for citizenship by birth.
Elated at the SC judgment, the AASU said the court thwarted a conspiracy by the Assam government to shelter illegal migrants. "Dispur's attempt was to defeat the spirit of the Assam Accord and provide a scope for illegal migrants to enter their mes in the NRC. The judgment has also brought relief to indigenous people who will not need legacy data now," it said.
The AGP said the apex court understood the sentiments of the people. "We were sure that the Supreme Court would never favor shielding of illegal migrants," it said.
APW president Aabhijit Sharma appealed to the people to submit their NRC forms at the earliest.