A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F Nariman of the Supreme Court on August 16, 2018 asked Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) Coordinator Prateek Hajela to submit a detailed report in a sealed envelope on the district wise percentage of the population which has not been included in the draft of the NRC list.
Prateek Hajela has also been directed to make available the copies of draft NRC at all panchayat offices so that public can access it easily.
A Standard Operation Procedure (SoP) to dispose of the claims and objections after the release of NRC as proposed by the Central Government was placed before the Supreme Court. It has been provided that list of documents for the purpose of legacy and linkage will remain the same as at the time of the initial application. It allows submission of additional documents by those affected to support their claim provides for a campaign to educate the applicants of the requirement of the application process.
Court further allowed the consultations with various associations and/or organisations, namely Assam Public Works, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenious Tribal Peoples Federation, All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad, Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees, All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) and Jamait Ulama-i-Hind. They are directed to give their views/comments on the proposed SOP by the Central Government latest by August 25, 2018.
As per the Government, the disposal of claims and objections will be done through holding of hearings. Claimants will be required to bring evidence including recorded oral evidence to support their claim. The hearings have been categorized to include applicants who originate from other states, case where children less than 14 years have been left out, cases where only married women are left out and others. The hearings are proposed to record the particulars and statements of witnesses and after examining them a speaking order will be issued by an authorised officer.
During the hearings, the State government will also undertake the process of the biometric enrolment of all the applicants of NRC. This will be different for people who are part of the claims and those who are objected upon.
The process of filing claims and objections will start on August 30 and the claim and objection forms will be made available to the public from August 20. Meanwhile, the next Supreme Court hearing on the matter will take place on August 28.