SC may consider Assam’s NRC draft re-verification

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Aug 2018 08:26:56



THE Supreme Court on Tuesday said it could consider a re-verification of 10 per cent of the people who were recently included in Assam’s draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), an exercise that could be carried out by an independent team.

The top court termed the issue as “human problem with great magnitude” and asked the State NRC coordinator to submit a report in a sealed cover on the ramification of allowing the claimants to file new sets of legacy documents.

In a bid to satisfy itself that the NRC exercise is error free, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said the re-verification of the population included from the draft NRC will be like a sample survey, which may be done by a team of officials of NRC Seva Kendras (NSK) who will be from the adjoining districts.

“We are of the view that the Court should consider the necessity of carrying out the sample re-verification of at least 10 per cent of the names included in the final draft NRC, if required, by a team of NSK Personnel from a neighbouring district,” the bench said.

The bench 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 the filing them. The court, after perusing the report of State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela on the district-wise data of the percentage of the population who have been excluded from the final draft NRC, said it “wants to satisfy itself that the entire process is error free”.

It asked Hajela to also submit a report in this regard and the possible time frame when such an exercise can begin, if ordered by the Court, and the time frame within which it can be completed.

During the hearing, the bench told Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for Centre, if the Government allows the claimants to establish legacy through some other family member in the claims and objections process, then it would tantamount to re-starting the entire process and a fresh family tree would have to be created.

Venugopal said there were poor farmers and labourers residing in far-flung areas of the State and it would be very unfair for them, if they are not given any second chance for inclusion in the NRC.