NEW DELHI: Urging the Supreme Court for random re-verification of the people included in the draft National Register of Citizens, the Centre on Friday said the exercise is required as lakhs of people have been ‘wrongly included’ in the list being prepared in Assam to weed out illegal immigrants.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Centre, told a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi that “India cannot be world’s refugee capital” and that the problem largely exists in districts bordering Bangladesh.
“Illegal migrants must be uprooted but this should be done with utmost care,” Mehta court.
Both the Centre and the Assam government had moved the court seeking extension of the July 31 deadline to finalise the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Centre sought random verification of up to 20 per cent of people included in the NRC and said lakhs of people could have been ‘wrongly included’ in areas bordering Bangladesh due to nexus of local officers.
CJI Gogoi while referring to reports filed by state NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela, said about 80 lakh people have already been re-verified in the process of disposal of claims and objections in the NRC process. However, Mehta told the bench that there is a growing perception that the NRC list has some mistakes. “The problem is in the border districts where these things are more prevalent,” he submitted.
The court said it will decide on the applications of both the Centre and the state on July 23 and asked Mehta to go through the NRC coordinator’s reports on the issue of re-verification. The first draft of the NRC was published on December 31, 2017.
1.9 cr made it to first draft
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018 in accordance with the apex court’s direction. The names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated at the time.