Day 2 ArgumentsAssam’s National Register of Citizens
November 1st 2018
On 01.11.2018, a Bench comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman J has granted those individuals whose names were not included in the first draft of the NRC, further time till December 15th 2018 to file their claim and objections.
The Bench further considered whether any of the following could be permitted to be relied upon by individuals for establishing their claim for inclusion in the NRC:
i. Presence of the names of individuals in the NRC of 1951
ii. Presence of the names of individuals in the Electoral Rolls upto March 24th 1971
iii. Citizenship Certificate & Refugee Registration Certificate
iv. Certified Copies of Electoral Rolls prior to 1971
v. Ration Card
The State Coordinator for the NRC, Mr. Prateek Hajela had objected to any of these documents being permitted to be introduced owing to the large number of forged documents that had already been filed by individuals.
The Court however permitted any one of these documents to be introduced for raising the claim for inclusion in the NRC, noting that the mere possibility that the documents filed may be forged could not be a ground to exclude them. It further directed that a thorough process of verification be undertaken to ensure the genuineness of each claim.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi observed: “We are of the view that objection of Shri Hajela to the five (05) documents in question and specifically with regard to the documents listed at Serial Nos. (i) and (ii) i.e. names in NRC, 1951;and names in Electoral Roll upto March 24th 1971 is based entirely on a possibility of abuse which, however, strong, cannot be an acceptable reason in law to exclude the documents from consideration.”
The Court further directed that as far as documents filed by persons belonging to the States other than the State of Assam for inclusion of the names in the NRC were concerned, such documents including the certificates may be accepted subject to back-end verification and on satisfaction of authenticity of such certificates.
Below is the timeline for filing objections and claims and the consideration of the same:
15.12.2018 – Last date for filing claims and objections for inclusion in the NRC
15.01.2019 – Issuing of Notices after digitisation and completion of all formalities
01.02.2019 – Completion of the verification process.
The matter will be heard next in December.