Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 13
Ruling out reopening of the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) data re-verification exercise, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that all exclusions and inclusions shall be published online only on August 31.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the entire NRC data has to be kept secure like Aadhaar data and directed that an appropriate regime be created to secure the Assam NRC data. Only hard copies of exclusion and inclusion will be provided to district offices, it added.
The Bench said persons born after December 3, 2004, will not be included in the NRC if either mother or father of the person in question was a doubtful voter or declared foreigner by a tribunal or the parents’ case is a contested one. It clarified that orders under the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act can be challenged in the Gauhati High Court.
On July 23, it had extended from July 31 to August 31 the deadline for publication of the final NRC in Assam after the Centre, state government and the state NRC Coordinator said more time was needed to publish the final list.
The final draft NRC list was published on July 30 last year in which 2.89 crore names out of the 3.29 crore people were included while 40,70,707 people failed to make it to the list. Of those left out, 37,59,630 names had been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 were put on hold.
Thereafter, a massive exercise with regard to claims and objections has been undertaken under the supervision of the SC to decide the fate of those left out or wrongly included.
Brushing aside criticism over the exercise, the SC had on August 8 asked Assam NCR Coordinator Prateek Hajela to stick to the August 31 deadline fixed by it.
“Our orders, our actions are being subjected to debates and criticism every moment. We are not bothered by it. If we will go into all this, we will never complete the task,” the Bench had said. “What we want is that let the NRC come out within the deadline of August 31. Who likes it, who does not like it, we don’t bother,” the Bench, which also included Justice Rohinton F Nariman, had said.
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