NEW DELHI: With 10 days remaining for the publication of Assam NRC, the government on Tuesday attempted to allay fears regarding National Register of Citizens (NRC) saying adequate arrangements have been made for appeals against wrongful exclusions.
Stating that non-inclusion of a person’s name in the final NRC list does not amount to him or her being declared a foreigner, the Centre also announced an extension of the time limit in filing appeals with the foreigners’ tribunals (FTs) from 60 to 120 days for those who are excluded from the final NRC.
The decisions were taken on Monday at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and other officials in the national capital on Monday. In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said under the provisions of Foreigners Act 1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964, only foreigners tribunals are empowered to declare a person foreigner. “Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the appellate authority ie foreigner tribunals,” it said.
The state government will also make arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy amongst those excluded from list, the Centre announced. In order to facilitate the persons excluded from NRC, an adequate number of foreigners’ tribunals is being established at convenient locations.
“As it may not be possible for all those excluded from final NRC to file the appeal within the prescribed time, the MHA will amend The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 to increase the present time limit of filing of appeals from 60 days to 120 days...,” the statement said. It added that central security forces are being provided to the state to maintain law and order.