The Assam citizenship list is only a draft and no action would be taken on its basis, the Supreme Court said today. Fair procedure will be adopted to settle all claims and objections, the court added, asking the government to submit procedures for examining claims and counter claims.
The draft list of citizens, which leaves out 40 lakh people, has triggered huge protests inside parliament and out. While the people in Assam are apprehensive of action, opposition parties have accused the government of targetting Muslims, using illegal migrants as a pretext.
The draft list will be made available to public on August 7 and those not on it can file claims and objections from August 30 to September 28, the top court said today.
(1) The Court perused the report filed by Mr. Prateek Hajela and noted that the second draft of NRC contains 2.89 Crore names leaving out around 40 Lakhs people;
(2) The draft NRC will be displayed to the people till August 7, 2018;
(3) From August 8, 2018 onward the people who have been left out of the second draft can approach the Local Registrar or the NRC Sewa Kendra to find out the reasons for their non-inclusion;
(4) The said persons can file their claims and objections between August 30, 2018-September 28, 2018;
(5) The Court has made it clear that no action can be taken against people on the basis of the Draft NRC. The Attorney General submitted before the Court that no coercive action will be taken against persons who do not feature in the draft NRC;
(6) To a query which fell from Court, Mr. Hajela responded that no deadline has been fixed for publication of final NRC and any such deadline can only be fixed by Court. The deadline of December 31, 2018 is for budgetary purposes;
(7) The Union Government in consultation with the State Coordinator shall submit Modalities/SOP containing the procedures, timelines etc. for deciding the claims and objections. The said Modalities/SOP are to be filed before the next date, i.e. August 16, 2018;
(8) The Court made it clear that the proposed Modalities/SOP have to be fair;
(9) AG told the Court that they are developing Bio-metrics for the 40 lakh people so that if a declared foreigner escapes to another State under a false identity then he is caught by the authorities;
(10) All other Intervention Applications and matters will be heard on the next date, August 16, 2018.