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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Assam coordinator moves SC seeking re-verification of NRC list

The Assam coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has urged the Supreme Court for a “comprehensive and time-bound re-verification of the citizens list”, highlighting “major irregularities” in the process, officials said on Thursday.

The officials said that Assam NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma in his interlocutory application also prayed for the deletion of illegal voters from Assam’s electoral rolls besides the revision of the draft NRC and a supplementary list under a relevant clause of the Schedule of Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

An official said on condition of anonymity that Dev Sarma filed the application on May 8, two days before Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma after assuming office on Monday said that the state government would undertake 20 per cent scrutiny of the NRC list in the bordering areas and 10 per cent inside Assam.

The case was accepted by the apex court on May 11.

Dev Sarma said in his application to the Supreme Court: “Pass appropriate directions that the re-verification be done under the supervision of a monitoring committee in the respective districts and such committee may be preferably represented by the respective district judge, district magistrate and superintendent of police.”

“Pass such other or further directions as your lordships may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case,” the application added.

To update the 1951 NRC in Assam, the statutory notification for starting the apex court-monitored exercise was issued in December 2013.

The draft list was published in August 2019, excluding 19.06 lakh out of 3.3 crore applications for lack of adequate documents for establishing their Indian citizenship.

Each of the 19.06 lakh people left out of the draft NRC are eligible to approach the Foreigners’ Tribunal within 120 days of receiving a rejection slip for weighing their citizenship claims.

Around a 100 tribunals have been tasked to scrutinise the documents of the excluded people and to decide if they would remain debarred or make it to the NRC.

The tribunals can declare a man foreigner, based on the Assam Accord of 1985, according to which immigrants, who entered the state after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported.

The National Register of Citizens in Assam is being updated based on this cut-off date.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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