New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India on Tuesday sought a report on the ramifications, including advantages and disadvantages, of giving another opportunity to nearly 40 lakh people who were excluded in the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) Second and Final draft.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said the re-verification of those excluded from Assam NRC was a "sample survey" for the satisfaction of the court and its schedule would be decided later. The SC bench directed the Assam state co-ordinator Prateek Hajela to submit the report by September 04.
The Supreme Court of India also deferred the scheduled date of August 30 for receipt of claims and objections to the draft NRC, as it pointed out certain contradictions in the Centre's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for filing them. Fixing the next hearing for September 5, the Apex Court said that the report should be submitted to the court alone.
“Allowing a person to suddenly pull out an additional document, that too at the 'claims and objections' stage, will upset the apple cart,” Justice Nariman observed.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal Venugopal countered that the government is giving “another chance to people who risk losing all their rights”. To this, Justice Nariman agreed that the court was dealing with “human problems of a huge magnitude”.
“Consequences are so severe that should they be given one more chance. Suppose a claimant has misfired once but can deliver in the next. Why should such a person not be given another chance?” Justice Nariman asked Hajela, stakeholders and petitioners in the litigation.
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.
The second and final draft of Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018 in which out of 3.29 crore people, names of 2.89 crore were included. The names of 40,70,707 people do not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
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