The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to extend the July 31 deadline for the exercise of making the final report of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. The top court has also made it clear that the exercise to publish the final citizens' list should not affect the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections due by May, adding that the competent authorities should sit together to plan the process in an organised manner.
"Supreme Court says it will not extend July 31 deadline for publication of final Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC)," the news agency ANI reported.
Supreme Court says it will not extend July 31 deadline for publication of final Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) pic.twitter.com/6jyRBqGhYH— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2019
The chief secretary of Assam government, secretary of Election Commission and the NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela have been asked to hold a meeting within seven days to decide how the officials will be accommodated for the scheduled exercises of the Assam NRC and General Elections 2019.
However, the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to ensure smooth conduction of the meeting. Mehta was appearing in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Assam government.
Meanwhile, Hajela informed the court that there are 36.2 lakh claims for inclusion of their names in final NRC, over 2 lakh objections against names included in draft till Dec 31. Notices to be issued to claimants 15 days before hearing of claims, that will start on Feb 15, Hajela added.
The matter is listed for further hearing on February 5 when the top court will be informed about the outcome of the meeting between the Assam government, the Election Commission and NRC coordinator Hajela.
Earlier in December, the Supreme Court extended the last date to file the claims and objections on the inclusion of names in NRC from December 15 to December 31, 2018.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court. The second and complete draft of NRC was released on July 30, 2018, that included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total applications of 3.29 crore. The first draft was published during the intervening nights of December 31, 2017, and January 1, 2018, containing 1.9 crore names.
(With inputs from agencies)