Indian citizens, who moved to Assam prior to 1971, will be included in the NRC if citizenship of such persons is ascertained beyond reasonable doubt while disposing claims and objections. This was part of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) submitted by State Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Prateek Hajela to the Supreme Court.
The top court has fixed December 15 as the deadline for filing of claims and objections for inclusion of names in the NRC.
While submitting the SOPs, the NRC coordinator said there have been instances where some people have not been able to provide documents to satisfactorily prove their residence in any part of India (outside Assam) up to March 24, 1971.
As such, their cases will be dealt with under Rule 4 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 and Clause 3(3) of its Schedule.
They are as follows: Citizens of India who originate from other states in India and who do not have any origin in specified territory (Bangladesh) and have moved to Assam prior to March 24, 1971, or after, will be included in the NRC if the citizenship of such persons is ascertained beyond reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of the authorities disposing of claims and objections, the SOPs, submitted on August 26, said.
Cases of all such persons whether ordered for inclusion by the authority (disposing claims and objections) or for exclusion, will be examined first by the CRCR (Circle Registrar of Citizens Registration) and then by the DRCR (District Registrar of Citizens Registration), according to the SOPs.
The final decision of inclusion or exclusion will be taken by the DRCR, who will record a speaking order issued under his seal and signature.
The authorities examining the claim and the DRCR will exercise great
caution to ensure that no illegal person’s name is included taking recourse to the
Claims, where only children (14 years or below) have been left out from the draft NRC while their parents have been included, will be segregated and pre-claim verification undertaken by the CRCR to ascertain the shortcoming in linkage documents or any inconsistencies thereof, the SOPs said.
The DRCR concerned will cause specific hearings for the composite family in respect of these minor children and oral or written evidences from parents will be admissible.
This special consideration is required as adequate documentary evidence may not be available for children less than 14 years of age, it said.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed that “in so far as clause 3(5) of the Schedule to the Rules is concerned, we clarify that Indian citizens, including their children and descendants, who may have moved to the State of Assam subsequent to March 24, 1971 would be eligible for inclusion in the NRC on adducing satisfactory proof of residence in any part of the country (outside Assam) as on March 24, 1971”.
The update of the NRC, the massive Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam, excluded over 40 lakh people from the draft list published on July 30, creating a huge political controversy.
The exercise is aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh was carried out only in Assam, which faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century.
When the NRC was first prepared in Assam way back in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens then. As per 2011 census, Assam’s total population is over 3.11 crore.
The process of identification of illegal immigrants in Assam has been widely debated and become a contentious issue in the state’s politics. A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979.
It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in the presence of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.