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SC Says No to Sharing NRC Report With Centre; Gives 2-month Window For Making Appeals

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman said the claims and objections process would begin September 25 for a period of 60 days.

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Updated:September 19, 2018, 4:00 PM IST
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SC Says No to Sharing NRC Report With Centre; Gives 2-month Window For Making Appeals
People check their names on the final draft of the National Register of Citizens at a NRC Seva Kendra in Nagaon, Assam. (PTI File Photo)
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday kick-started the process of claims and objections for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and ordered that any one of the 10 of the 15 documents can be used by claimants to prove legacy.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman said the process would begin September 25 for a period of 60 days. The apex court said it was agreeable to NRC coordinator Pratik Hajela’s suggestion that any one of the 10 of a total 15 documents provided in List-A of the claim form can be used by the claimants to prove their citizenship.

The court said giving a chance to the 40 lakh excluded from the NRC list was a matter of concession, but said it can’t open everything during the second round.

The bench also said the Centre would not be given a copy of the NRC Coordinator's report on the modalities for receiving claims from those excluded in draft NRC at this stage. “The NRC Coordinator is not to disclose any details regarding claims and verifications with anyone,” said the bench.

The next hearing will be held on October 23.

The ten legacy documents which are admissible include land documents like registered sale deed, permanent residential certificate issued from outside the state, passport and LIC insurance policy of the relevant period.

Other documents which can be relied upon include any license or certificate issued by any government authority of the relevant period, documents showing service or employment under government or public sector undertaking, Bank or Post Office accounts of relevant period, birth certificates issued by the competent authority, educational certificate and records or processes pertaining to courts, provided they are part of a processing in a Judicial or Revenue Court.

All these documents should be of the relevant period up to the midnight of March 24, 1971.

The list of documents to prove legacy, which were in the list-A of the claim form but were not included include extract of NRC, 1951, extract or certified copy of electoral rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, Citizenship Certificate issued by competent authority, refugee registration certificate and ration cards issued by competent authority with official seal and signature.

The SC said the issue of the five remaining documents would be kept open and it would make a final decision after hearing the views of the NRC coordinator.

On August 28, the top court had said it could consider a re-verification of 10 per cent of the people who were recently included in Assam's draft NRC, an exercise that could be carried out by an independent team.

The top court had termed the issue as "human problem with great magnitude" and asked the state NRC coordinator to submit a report in a sealed cover on the ramification of allowing the claimants to file new sets of legacy documents.

The final draft NRC list was published on July 30 in which names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included.

The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.

The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 in accordance with the top court's direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.

Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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