The Hindu

NRC-ex­cluded peo­ple can go to court: of­fi­cial

Says De­cem­ber 15 dead­line will not be ex­tended

- Vi­jaita Singh

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.

 ?? AP ■ ?? Race against time: A man scans the doc­u­ments of peo­ple whose names were left out in the NRC draft.
AP ■ Race against time: A man scans the doc­u­ments of peo­ple whose names were left out in the NRC draft.

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