The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that lakhs of people have been wrongly included in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) being prepared in Assam to weed out illegal immigrants and therefore more time is needed to finalise the list.
“There is a growing perception that lakhs of illegal migrants have been included in the NRC list in alleged collusion with local NRC officials in the state of Assam. Illegal immigrants have to be dealt severely. India cannot be the refugee capital of the world," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court, appearing on behalf of the central government.
The Centre, and the Assam government, requested the Supreme Court to extend the July 31 deadline for final National Register of Citizens.
The union and state government also sought sample verification of the citizens included in the NRC.
“Verification of 20 per cent sample survey be allowed to find out wrongful inclusions and exclusions in Assam NRC,” Centre tells the top court.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018 in accordance with the top court's direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.
Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
Earlier on Tuesday, the top court had turned down the Central and Assam governments' pleas seeking early and urgent hearing on the issues related to extending the July 31 deadline for completion of the NRC
"We will see. We will examine the petition," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said.
Mehta mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing, saying that it will not be possible to complete the NRC by July 31.
Earlier at many occasions, the court had reiterated that the July 31 deadline for the publication of final Assam NRC draft was non-negotiable and it should not be met at the expense of those who have filed claims for inclusion of their names in the NRC.
With Agency Inputs