Assam NRC list: Filing objections must be fair, says SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the process of filing objections by those whose names are not listed in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft list in Assam should be fair.

The court added that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) should be applied.
A division bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, observed that as per rules the person has to be sent notice and also should get a hearing in connection to the matter.

The top court directed the NRC co-ordinator, Prateek Hajela, and the central government to submit before the court the process or modalities they plan to follow to file objections. Justice Gogoi said, “We will see if it is fair or not. Then we will decide. If something needs to be done, we will do.”

The court told the Attorney General, “You do what you want to do, then we will say. Our silence is neither agreement nor rejection nor assurance.”

Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted to the court that the concerned ministry is preparing the SOP to deal with claims and objections and to ensure a fair process. He assured the court that the SOP would be submitted to the court in mid August.

The apex court was hearing many petitions, including the Assam Samhilta and the Social Justice Forum, seeking quashing of the NRC procedure since it was in violation of citizenship rules 2003.

The NRC draft features names, addresses and photographs of all Indian citizens, who have been residing in the northeastern state before March 25, 1971.