1 lakh Off NRC List

A day after one lakh people were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam, Union home ministry officials said that all those excluded will get a final chance to prove their nationality within the next 15 days, ahead of the final publication of NRC on July 31.

The draft NRC kept out 40 lakh people in July, 2018. On Wednesday, the NRC state coordinator issued a statement adding 1,02,462 more to the earlier list of 40 lakh. “The latest exclusion of over 1 lakhs from NRC are spread across 31 districts in Assam. They will be eligible to file claims and hearing will start from July 5..,” a senior government official explained.

The NRC is being updated for the first time since 1951 to identify illegal migration into Assam. The Supreme Court is monitoring the process and the final list is scheduled to be released next month. Some 3.29 crore persons had applied for inclusion in the NRC and 2.9 crore were found to be eligible.

“The additional exclusion list (of 1 lakh) includes persons who were found ineligible on grounds of being DF (declared foreigner) or DV (doubtful voter) or PFT (persons with cases pending at foreigners' tribunals),” the official added. Those found ineligible while appearing as witnesses in hearings held for disposals of claims and objections were also a part of the latest exclusion list, he added.

Each district of the 31 districts of the state will have 2,500-3,500 persons. Their hearing will be completed before the final draft is published. "In the past two and half months, the official at NRC Seva Kendras, offices of the Deputy Commissioners, Sub Divisional Officers (Civil) and Circle Officers have held hearings and completed the claims and objections process of nearly 40 lakhs persons who were left out from the draft NRC,” the official added.

On the next step after publication of the final NRC, the official said, “Those who will be excluded from the list than can approach the foreigner’s tribunals”. Last month, the home ministry sanctioned manpower and resources to make at least 200 foreigners’ tribunals operational in the state before July 31. The state government has proposed to set up 1,000 foreigners’ tribunals, all over Assam.

Earlier this month, MHA laid out the rules on setting up foreigner’s tribunal stating, “The appellant may appear either in person or through a legal practitioner or a relation authorised by the appellant in writing subject to the acceptance of such representation by the tribunal. The state government may appoint a pleader to represent the district magistrate (DM) or the deputy commissioner (DC).”

The tribunal shall issue a notice to the DM/DC to produce NRC records within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice and a copy of the notice shall be sent to the pleader appearing for the government and to the appellant, according to MHA.

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