The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected state NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela’s objections on the five documents and allowed the claimants to on these five documents subject to “rigorous verification” as valid proofs to support citizenship. The Apex court extended the deadline for filing claims and objections of people whose names were not included in the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) to December 15.
The Apex court rejected the concerns of the state NRC coordinator on the forgery of legacy data in his report. Many organizations including the Assam government opposed Hajela’s suggestions and filed affidavit demanding inclusion of these five documents.
The Supreme Court, while nullifying state co-ordinator for NRC Prateek Hajela’s objection to the five documents, stated that ensuring a thorough verification of the claims would be the duty and obligation of Hajela.
An order issued by the apex court stated as: “It would, undoubtedly, be the duty and obligation of Hajela to ensure a thorough verification of the claims.”
SC also stated that Hajela’s objections was based on ‘possibility of abuse’ and were not acceptable reasons to exclude the five documents from consideration.
SC has also asked Hajela to undertake a vigorous process of verification and have additional layers of such verification to ensure that only and only eligible persons are included in the final NRC.
The NRC authority will digitalise the applications of the claimants from December 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019 which will be followed by issue of notices for hearing to the claimants from January 15 to February 1 next year and the thereafter the hearing process will be started.
SC has also asked Hajela to file a report to the court after the last date fixed for filing of claims and objections.
The five documents are — NRC of 1951, voter list of 1966, voter list of 1971, refugee registration certificate till 1971 and ration card issued till March 24, 1971.
Earlier a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman set a date for filing claims and objections beginning September 25 for 60 days.
Over 40 lakh people had been excluded from the final NRC draft published on July 30 and have been given an option to file fresh claims.