The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to extend the deadline for the final National Register of Citizens of Assam, and said that the same has to published by July 31 this year.
“Exercise your discretion. Keep the law in mind. Whatever you want to do, publish final NRC by July 31. Maybe a day earlier, but not a day later,” the court said.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman also gave a "free hand" to Prateek Hajela, Assam NRC coordinator dealing with claims and objections of persons against wrong exclusion or inclusion of citizens in the NRC.
The direction came after Hajela informed the bench that many persons, who had objected to inclusion of certain individuals in the draft NRC are not coming forward before panels which are dealing with such complaints.
Earlier, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had criticised the Centre and the Ministry of Home Affairs’ plea requesting a suspension of the NRC work during the general election.
The draft Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018 in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
A window ending December 31, 2018, was provided for those who wanted to file claims for re-inclusion. Within this same period, people who suspected that foreigners have made their way to the list were also allowed to file their objections. The final list is slated to be released by July 31.