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Union home minister Amit Shah in the recent times has been vocal about the implementation of a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), which will be similar to the one published in Assam on August 31.

Echoing Shah, a number of states have also expressed their will for a similar exercise.

ALSO READ: In Mizoram, Amit Shah skips CAB, NRC issues amid protest

The stumbling block in the road to this nationwide NRC, however, is the absence of a common cut-off date.

Different commentators have said that if a nationwide NRC has to come into force, then there needs to be a general consensus on the cut-off date and it cannot be different for different states.

National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) vice-chancellor Faizan Mustafa said is of the view that the date to acquire Indian citizenship for those who migrated from Pakistan is 1948 only.

“They become citizens automatically and those who came after that date, need a registration,” The Hindu reported quoting Mustafa.

“The cut-off date for providing citizenship should be constitutionally determined,” Mustafa said.

“If the Supreme Court while examining the NRC says the cut-off date for Assam should be 1948 and not 1971, then the entire exercise will become futile,” he added.

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“First, the constitutionality of the cut-off date should be determined,” he further said.

“If tomorrow, the SC that is examining the NRC, says that the cut-off date for Assam should be 1948 and not 1971, then the entire exercise will be futile,” Mustafa added.

Tripura has been demanding for the implementation of NRC in the state for a long time.

A civil society group of the state has filed a petition in SC, seeking NRC in Tripura by taking July 19, 1948, as the cut-off date.

Compiling a register of indigenous Naga inhabitants for safeguarding the state from outsiders has also been proposed by Nagaland.

The Nagaland government has proposed the cut off date for entry in the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) as of December 1, 1963, the day Nagaland acquired Statehood.

Some groups, however, have proposed the cut-off date for RIN as 1977.

The NRC in Assam was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court and 1971 was set as the cut-off date.

ALSO READ: NRC is an ongoing process: India tells Bangladesh

Questioning the feasibility of NRC, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday asked as to how a cut-off date for the NRC will be decided without SC taking a decision on the constitutionality of section 6A of the Citizenship Act.

“NRC in Assam costed over Rs 1200 crores and imposed massive costs of life and livelihood on people of Assam,” the leader tweeted.

“Imagine the human costs of a nationwide NRC. SC still has to determine the constitutionality of Section 6A of Citizenship Act, so what cut off date can they decide in its absence?” he added.

 

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