It was not possible to issue rejection slips to those left out of NRC without orders from the Supreme Court, an official associated with the National Registry of Citizens in Assam has said. “Rejection slips to those left out of the final register has not started. There has to be an order from the Supreme Court which monitors the case. The state government had moved the Supreme Court seeking 20% sample reverification of names included in draft NRC in districts bordering Bangladesh and a 10% sample re-verification of names in the remaining districts. The matter is sub judice,” a senior official in NRC, who did not want to be named, told ET.
The Registrar General of India had recently asked the Assam government to complete updating NRC by March 31 as there was no provision for continuing with the ₹3.22 crore monthly funding of NRC work. RGI had also asked office of the state co-coordinator to be shifted to a state government building and the staff to be redeployed when NRC requested it for funds to continue work.
The NRC official said that RGI was yet to notify NRC. “The Ministry of Home Affairs in its affidavit filed on January 29, 2020, has submitted to the Supreme Court that the person not satisfied with outcome of decision of the claims and objects may file an appeal before the Foreigners Tribunal without waiting for publication of final NRC by Registrar General of Citizens Registration. However, the Supreme Court has not given any order on this suggestion. Even those moving the tribunal within 120 days of getting a rejection slip will have to suffer from time lag if the same is issued now,” the NRC official said.
NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma in his affidavit in the Gauhati High Court last December has claimed that RGI was silent on the NRC process anomalies. Sarma said that instead of giving direction on how to rectify the same, RGI had asked NRC authorities to wind up operation by issuing rejection slips.
Sarma’s affidavit said, “The RGI is also silent on the final publication of the NRC for which it is the only authority to take action and, till date, the final NRC is yet to be published by RGI as per Clause 7 of the Citizenship (registration of citizens and issue of national identity cards) Rules, 2003. The RGI is the highest authority under whose direction NRC updating has been taken up and is the only statutory authority empowered to take any decision on correction/rectification of anomalies if it is felt necessary.”