The All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) submitted a memorandum on Thursday pointing out the discrepancies in Assam NRC.
The students’ body submitted the memorandum to Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela bringing to his notice the discrepancies in the ongoing process of disposal of claims and objections.
The AAMSU lamented that despite approaching the NRC coordinator in person as well as by submitting memoranda for redressal of genuine grievances, everything has fallen on deaf ears.
To buttress their claim, they cited the Supreme Court order dated May 8, 2019, passed in WP(C) No 274/2009 which directed that – “The state coordinator is free to deal with all incidental issues, that may arise, in his wise discretion and in accordance with law.”
The memorandum pointed out that despite the Supreme Court’s order dated December 12, 2018, passed in IA No 170426/2018 and IA No 170471/2018 in WP(C) No274/2009 directing the NRC authorities to accept List B documents that are found to be legally valid, regardless of the date of issuance of the same, the same is not happening.
Few officials are not accepting the List B documents issued after August 31, 2018, thus violating the top court’s order.
The memorandum stated that not a single genuine Indian citizen shall be left out from the final NRC, and not a single person who is not a citizen of India shall be included in the final NRC.
It was widely reported both in print as well as electronic media that near about 1,300 objections were filed up to December 30, 2018. But, within a day, the numbers rose up to more than 2.5 lakhs on December 31, 2018.
The students’ body said that “genuine” objections filed against illegal migrants is “welcome” by following the due process of law.
But, a large number of objections were filed in cyclostyled/ forged manner in total violation of law only with the intent to harass the genuine Indian citizen and derail the entire NRC update process, the memorandum further stated.
To buttress their claim, the AAMSU mentioned that the state coordinator for NRC, Assam, issued protocol for reconciliation of objection forms received at deputy commissioner (DC) offices on December 31, 2018.
The NRC coordinator had also directed the District Registrar of Citizen Registration (DRCRs) that the following information regarding the objector are to be materially collected – name, mobile number, NRC Seva Kendra (NSK), village/town/ward as per Village Master.
Despite strict directive, notices are being issued to people on the basis of false/forged/cyclostyled and incomplete objections in total violation of existing norms.
The objections which have been filed violating the aforesaid provisions should have been rejected at the very beginning.
The AAMSU also contended that officials are not disclosing particulars of objectors whereas right to information is the indispensable right of every individual.
The apex court vide order dated April 10, 2019, passed in IA No 59700/2019 and IA No 59706/2019 in WP(C) No 274/2009 directed the state coordinator to ensure that at the time of hearing of the claims, steps should be taken to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the persons required to attend the hearing
The apex court also asked the NRC coordinator to ensure that people called for hearing do not have to travel long distances, if possible.
But that is not happening, stated the memorandum, and people are being called for NRC hearing to distant places thus causing inconvenience as well as mental, physical and financial stress to the individuals concerned.
Going by the above, the AAMSU requested Prateek Hajela to reject the objections ex parte at the very beginning in cases where the objectors remain absent during hearing.
To reject the objections where the details as per protocol dated December 31, 2018, have not been furnished by the objectors.
The memorandum also requested the state coordinator to furnish details of the objectors in the notice for hearing as well as to the person against whom such objection is made during the course of hearing
To fix the hearing venues within reasonable distance of same localities of the persons who are being called for disposal of claims and objections.
To accept the list-B/linkage documents issued after May 31, 2015, during the course of disposal of claims and objections.
And last but not the least, the state coordinator was requested to strictly follow the principle of natural justice during the course of disposal of claims and objections.
A copy of the memorandum was sent to the secretary and joint secretary, ministry of home affairs, registrar general of India and the chief secretary to the government of Assam.