The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked all the stakeholders to file their objections to the stand taken by NRC State Coordinator, Assam, Prateek Hajela to exclude five documents for preparing modalities of the Standard Operating Procedure for dealing with claims and objections.
Hajela suggested dropping of five documents including the 1951 NRC, pre-1971 voters’ lists, citizenship certificate, refugee registration certificate and ration cards from the 15 documents that are listed as valid proof to support citizenship.
It may be mentioned that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update process is going on under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court and names of several citizens did not figure in the final draft NRC which was published on July 30, 2018.
The two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman asked Hajela to explain to all the stakeholders including the State of Assam and Union of India within two days as to why he had excluded these five documents.
The stakeholders are State of Assam, Union of India, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU), Jamait Ulama -i-Hind, Assam Public Works (APW), Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha (ASM), National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Progressive (NDFB-P), Indigenous Tribal Peoples Federation (ITPF) and Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees (JACBR).
The top court also ordered that the written objections of the stakeholders will be brought on record on or before October 30, 2018.
The matter will be heard on November 1, 2018, the Apex Court order stated.
A report published on Times Now on Tuesday stated that during the hearing on the NRC, which triggered a controversy after 40 lakh persons were left out of its draft, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Assam government and Centre to “behave like a state and not an individual”.
“The comments from the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman came when the centre and Assam government insisted on five out of the 15 documents, left out by SC for those (40 lakh people) whose name did not figure in draft NRC, for filing claims and objections,” it stated.
The top court has asked Hajela to explain and apprise (which he had excluded in his earlier) to all the stakeholders including Assam and Union of India within two days as to why he had excluded these five documents in the case.
To enable all the stake-holders to respond to the stand taken by Hajela in his report on October 4, 2018, the Apex Court directed Hajela to give a power-point presentation of the manner in which he had proceeded in preparation of the manual and the computer family tree for the purposes of deciding on the inclusion of names in the draft NRC.
The power-point presentation will be given by Hajela to the officials of the Government of Assam and the Union of India in the presence of Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General or his authorized representative(s) and also in the presence of representatives of all the other stake-holders, who agree to be represented by Kapil Sibal, the order stated.
“Once such written objections are received on or before the date fixed i.e. 30th October, 2018, further orders in the matter will be passed on 1st November, 2018,” the Apex Court order further stated.