SC seeks views of stakeholders on Assam NRC SoP

New Delhi: The process for receiving claims and objections from the public, including 40 lakh ineligible people who were not included in the complete draft NRC, would begin from Aug 30, as the Supreme Court on Thursday sought views of AASU, AAMSU and Jamiat-Ulama-E-Hind on the Standard Operating Procedure prepared by the Centre.

The Centre had on Aug 14 submitted to the court the detailed SoP for the disposal of claims and objections in the updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

The top court had on July 31 permitted the Centre to prepare the details of the modalities to deal with the claims and objections foloowing publication of the draft final NRC.

Besides All Assam Students Union (AASU), All Assam Minorities Students Union (AAMSU), Jamiat-Ulama-E-Hind, the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman also asked the petitioners, Assam Public Works and Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, to submit their views on the SoP.

All of them were directed to submit their views by Aug 25.

While seeking the views of AASU, AAMSU, Jamiat-Ulama-E-Hind, and the three petitioners, the court ruled out involving the political parties in the exercise.

The bench asked who the stakeholders are for ascertaining views on the SoP. The state coordinator Prateek Hajela for preparing NRC said in the past political partiers were involved in the consultation process.

The court said that SoP would be finalized on Aug 28, the next date of hearing.

The court also asked Prateek Hajela to give in a sealed cover the district-wise percentage of the people have not been included in the draft NRC.

The complete draft NRC that was published on July 30 found the names of 2.89,83, 677 and left a total of 40,70,707 being ineligibles for inclusion. Of the 40,70,707 names, 37,59,630 names were rejected and 2,48,077 names were kept on hold.

The SoP says that during the course of the hearing of claims and objections, which according to existing schedule would commence from December 15, the Assam government along with the Unique Identification Authority of India will undertake the process of biometric enrolment of all the NRC applicants.

The biometric enrolment of persons who would be making claims for inclusion and those who are objected to will be distinctive. Separate IDs will be generated for those individuals.

The SoP prepared by the Centre says that while a claim for inclusion can only be made by the person concerned, the objection to inclusion of a name in the draft NRC could be made by any person.

Also there is no restriction on filing any number of objections to the names for inclusion in the draft NRC.

The SoP further says that there would be “no penalty for rejection of an application made in respect of objection for inclusion of a name in the draft NRC.”