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On Assam citizens’ list, SC rejects Centre, state demand for re-verification

  
Rejecting the Centre and Assam government’s pleas, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled out any re-verification of the Assam citizens’ list, which  is being updated to weed out illegal foreigners in the state.

“The National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise won’t be reopened, there shall be no sample re-verification of data. Those born after Dec 3, 2004 won’t be included in NRC if any of the parents is a doubtful voter or declared foreigner by a tribunal or is contesting case,” a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

On the security of the date collected, the court said:”Regime similar to Aadhaar should be created to ensure security of NRC data. Exclusions should be published only online on August 31.”

“Only hard copies of lists of inclusions and exclusions should be be provided at district offices. NRC must be be updated according to law laid down in section 66a judgment”, the court said.

A little over 4 million people in Assam, out of the 32.9 million in the state who applied to be included in the NRC, had been left out of the draft of the contentious document released in 2018.

In another list released in June this year, the number of people left out of the draft NRC went up by over a lakh. Listing reasons for the exclusion, the office of the state coordinator of the NRC listed three categories.

Firstly, those who are declared foreigner, doubtful voter or persons with cases pending at Foreigners Tribunals or their descendants, as applicable, discovered after publication of draft NRC. Second, persons who were found to be ineligible while appearing as witness in hearings held for disposal of claims and objections.

Third, are persons who were found to be ineligible during the process of verification carried out by the Local Registrars of Citizens Registration under provisions of Clause 4(3), after publication draft NRC on July 30, 2018.
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