Regional

Appeals process fails to start as RGI yet to notify final NRC

GUWAHATI, SEP 29 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 9/29/2019 11:35:41 AM IST

The next phase of the process for appealing against non-inclusion in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is yet to take off as the Registrar General of India (RGI) has not notified the final list published by the state NRC coordinator on August 31, a Times of India report stated.

Altogether, 19 lakh people have failed to make the cut. The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, which guided the updating of the National Register of Citizens in the state, requires that “the Registrar General of Citizens Registration shall publish the final National Register of Indian Citizens in the State of Assam.”

Assam State Jamiat Ulema has moved the Supreme Court, seeking instructions to the Registrar General of Citizens Registration to publish the final NRC. “...Unless the list is notified and published by the Registrar General of Citizens Registration, the next phase of filing appeals in the foreigners’ tribunals by the excluded people cannot happen,” said Jamiat’s counsel AS Tapadar.

Besides, the National Register of Citizens state coordinator is yet to make available the reasons of rejection to the excluded persons based on which they can file appeals in tribunals within 120 days of receiving the reasons of rejection.

A state government source said, “The Registrar General has to wait for the Supreme Court’s instructions because the whole exercise has been carried out under its watch.”

A source in the NRC office said the Supreme Court had asked state coordinator Prateek Hajela to take the NRC updating exercise to a logical end but the source did not say whether Hajela now has to submit the final list to the apex court for declaring the end of the exercise and inserting the Registrar General to notify it.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi is currently engaged with the Ayodhya title dispute and the Constitution bench has set a tentative deadline for completion of arguments in it by October 18. It is unlikely that the Jamiat case would be listed before that. 

The Assam Public Works, the original petitioner which led to the apex court supervising the NRC exercise in 2013, has also filed an application seeking 100% re-verification of the NRC.

The Jamiat counsel said the rules do not mention the time when the Registrar General should publish the National Register of Citizens after the completion of the updating. “There is a gap and that is why we have moved court,” added Tapadar.

The Supreme Court had last heard the National Register of Citizens issue on August 13 when it ordered the state coordinator to secure NRC data like Aadhar data and asked him to publish the list of exclusions on August 31 only on online.

 

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