Government to provide legal aid to needy people left out of Assam NRC

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]SSAM government would soon put in place all the arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy people who have been excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reviewed the issues related to NRC ahead of its final publication on August 30 as directed by the Supreme Court. The meeting was attended by the Chief Minister of Assam, Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary Assam and other senior officers.

“To facilitate the persons excluded from NRC, adequate arrangements will be made by the state government to provide full opportunity to appeal against their non-inclusion. Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his or her case in front of the appellate authority, Foreigner Tribunals (FT),” said an official statement issued after the meeting.


Also read: NRC Assam: SC extends date for publication of citizenship register to August 31


Under the provisions of Foreigners Act 1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964, only Foreigners Tribunals are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner.

“Non-inclusion of a person’s name in NRC does not by itself amount to declaring a person as a foreigner,” it added.

Maintain that adequate tribunals are being established at convenient locations for facilitating the left out persons, it further said, “the state government would also make arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy people. As it may not be possible for all those excluded from final NRC to file the appeal within the prescribed time, Ministry of Home Affairs will amend the rules to increase the current time limit for filing appeals in tribunals from 60 to 120 days.”

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 are also being amended accordingly.

In order to maintain law and order situation, according to the statement, central security forces are being provided as per assessment of the state government.

On July 23, 2019, the Supreme Court had extended the deadline for the publication of NRC Assam to August 31 from July 31.

Also read: #NRC Assam: Supreme Court to decide whether re-verification of names in NRC required