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SC Says Won’t Extend The Deadline For Finalising Assam NRC Beyond July 31

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman also gave a "free hand" to Prateek Hajela, the Assam NRC coordinator.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday made it clear that it will not extend the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman also gave a “free hand” to Prateek Hajela, the 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 the inclusion of certain individuals in the draft NRC are not coming forward before panels which are dealing with such complaints.

The apex court had on April 10 asked Hajela to take steps to minimise the “inconvenience” of the people who have filed claims before authorities after being left out in the draft NRC.

Hajela had submitted before the court that the citizenship claims of left out persons were being verified on the basis of “family tree” and land records.

Also read: Assam: Congress Demands Action On ‘Fake’ NRC Objections in Kokrajhar

Verification of claims on the basis of the family tree was being conducted near the place where most of the relatives of the claimant are residing, he had said.

On February 5, the apex court had observed that the Centre is “hell-bent” on stalling the Assam NRC work while rapping it for seeking suspension of the process during the polls citing non-availability of security forces.

The draft Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018, in which the names of 2.89 crores 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.

The first draft of Assam NRC was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017, and January 1 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 an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state to have an NRC, first prepared in 1951.

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