NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday permitted the applicants, who were excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, to submit their claims and objections from September 25 for a period of 60 days.
The apex court also accepted NRC coordinator Pratik Hajela’s suggestion that any 10 of the total 15 documents provided in List-A of the claim form be used by the claimants to prove their citizenship.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman said giving a chance to the 40 lakh applicants excluded from the NRC list was a matter of concession, but added it can’t open everything during the second round.
Attorney General K K Venugopal questioned the rationale of excluding the five identity documents.
“We find these five documents can be manufactured and the possibility of the misuse of documents is enormous,” Justice Nariman said to drive the point home.
But, Venugopal contended that the legacy and the family tree can also be bought. On finding the AG in a combative mode, the bench said, “We have not shut the door. At this stage, we are going to receive the documents and review the situation after 30 days. After that we can re-open for review the question and give them another 30 days.”
The bench also said the Centre would not be given a copy of the NRC coordinator’s report on the modalities for receiving claims from those excluded in draft NRC at this stage. The next hearing will be held on October 23.
The apex court said the issue of the five remaining documents would be kept open and it would make a final decision after hearing the views of the NRC coordinator.
The final draft NRC list in the Northeast state was published on July 30 in which names of 2.89 crore of the total 3.29 crore applicants were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 applications were rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
The bench also said the Centre would not be given a copy of the NRC coordinator’s report on the modalities for receiving claims from those excluded in draft NRC at this stage.