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

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court today extended the time for the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Assam to August 31, 2019 from the earlier deadline of July 31, 2019. The State Coordinator Assam Prateek Hajela, IAS, had favoured the extension in the date for the publication of the NRC.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F Nariman, however, rejected the request jointly made by the Centre and Assam government for a 20% sample re-verification of NRC data in the districts bordering Bangladesh. According to Centre, the re-verification was needed because there could have been some wrongful inclusions. The State Coordinator for NRC Assam, however, had not favoured the re-verification.

The question of re-verification can be traced back to the hearing before the special bench on August 28, 2018 following the publication of the complete draft NRC on June 30th 2018, when the court, while finalizing the standard operating procedure for disposal of claims and objections, recorded that a re-verification of at least 10% of the names included in the final NRC may be conducted by a team of Nagrik Seva Kendras (NSK) personnel from a neighbouring district. The NSKs are centres where NRC work is conducted.

The court’s suggestion regarding the re-verification was made on the basis of the progress report filed by the State Coordinator for NRC indicating district-wise data of the percentage of the population which had been excluded from the final draft NRC.