NRC-excluded people can go to court: official
Says December 15 deadline will not be extended
Those not included in the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam could be placed in the category of “non-citizens”, but they would get an opportunity to present their case before the court of law after all options are exhausted, according to a top government official.
The official said the December 15 deadline — for making citizenship claims by those excluded from the final draft of the NRC published on July 30 — was not likely to be extended.
Nearly 40 lakh people were left out of the final draft. The exercise conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court gave opportunity to those excluded from the list to file claims and those who suspected that someone had been wrongfully included to file objections. The official said that only 10 lakh people had filed claims so far and the number of objections was close to 200.
“Ample opportunity was given to people to file the claims, they were physically shown the family tree on computer sets. It was a robust exercise. We believe that those who have not claimed citizenship have been rightfully left out, since they cannot back their claims,” the official said.
The official said that no call had been taken on deporting them to the “country of origin” as those left out could move the Foreign Tribunals and then on to courts to get relief. The call to strike away their names from the electoral rolls should be taken by the Election Commission, the official said.
On Supreme Court directions, the Registrar-General of India (RGI) published the final draft list of the NRC on July 30 to segregate Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the State from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971. The first draft containing the names of 1.9 crore out of 3.29 crore applicants was published on December 31 last year.
No decision yet
“The fate of those not included in the list after claims and objections have been disposed of, is yet to be decided. At best, they will be non-citizens. It is wrong to say that people from only a particular community have been excluded; the list comprises both Hindus and Muslims. Since the exercise is being conducted under the guidance of the SC, it will decide the future course of action,” said the official.
As per Centre’s submission in the Supreme Court, Class-1 officers will be deployed and five hearings per day will take place or eight hearings for cases involving children of 14 years or less.