Final NRC publication date uncertain

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The fate of the final NRC is now uncertain as Government will formulate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for handling claims and objectives and development both inside and outside Parliament have ensured that NRC authorities would not be in a hurry.

The clear indication came from the Supreme Court itself as the focus on correct handling of the claims and objection. The NRC authorities have received flak for rushing the verification process because of which 40 lakh appeared in the cut list, which is considered highly erroneous.

The court will give adequate time and Mr Prateek Hajela shall also not rush through like past. At one point, Justice Gogoi asked Mr. Hajela about “reading somewhere that the date for publishing the final NRC is December 31” this year. But Mr. Hajela denied this. “We have not fixed any date. It is for the court to fix a date. It (December 31) was only for the purpose of budgeting,” he said.

The Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Nariman ordered the government, in consultation with State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela, to frame a ‘fair’ standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the claims and objections of those who did not find their names in the draft NRC.

Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal informed the court that the Ministry concerned is working out the modalities of the SOP, which would “deal with the different dimensions of the exercise of hearing the claims and objections to ensure that the process is fair.”

Mr. Venugopal submitted that once the modalities are worked out, the SOP would be placed before the court by mid-August.
The AG submitted that the government is developing bio-metrics so that even if a declared foreigner escapes to another State, he or she would be caught there.

“We do not want to say anything about all that now. Now, we want everybody to get a fair opportunity, considering the complexities and numbers, etc, involved. You (government) place it before us. If it is fair, we will approve. If not, we will disapprove. If there is anything missing, we will fill it,” Justice Gogoi told Mr. Venugopal.

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