NEW DELHI: People left out of the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC), may get an extension to prove their citizenship as the authorities are yet to start issuing certificates that will give details of individual exclusions, officials said on Wednesday.
According to recently issued guidelines, that were revised by the Centre, an individual who has been excluded from the final NRC can approach one of the 300 foreigners tribunals set up in Assam within 120 days beginning August 31. But because people are yet to get certificates, the window for filing appeals will also begin from the day of issuance of certificates, sources said.
Since the NRC authorities are yet to start the process of issuing certificates giving the reasons for their exclusion, there is a possibility of the NRC coordinator approaching the Supreme Court (SC), seeking an extended period, a government official said.
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The certificate is necessary to approach a foreigners tribunal to challenge the exclusion from the NRC. The reason for the delay in issuing the certificate was due to the SC’s directive to the NRC coordinator to ensure fool-proof security to the NRC data, a senior official said. He explained that the NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela will approach the SC only after fully securing the complete NRC data and added that it’s the court that will decide the matter.
According to the final NRC released on Saturday, of the 3.3 crore applicants, 3.11 crore figured in the list while the names of over 19 lakh were left out. The Union Home Ministry has reiterated that people whose names are not part of the NRC will not be declared foreigners till all legal options are exhausted.
The Assam government also declared that it will take all possible steps to help genuine Indians prove their citizenship and provide assistance. Despite assurances, many voiced concern over NRC.
Assam finance minister Himant Biswa Sarma and state BJP chief Ranjit Kumar Das had said they were unhappy because they felt many genuine Indian citizens have not been included in the list.