SC directive on protecting privacy of applicants
NEW DELHI, Feb 9: The Centre on Tuesday said the Supreme Court has directed the NRC State Coordinator to enact an appropriate security regime similar to the one provided for Aadhaar data and only thereafter, the list of inclusions and exclusions shall be made available to the Centre, State and Registrar General of India.
The Centre also said that due to the COVID-19 outbreak and flood situation, the process of issuing rejection slips has been postponed.
In a reply in the Lok Sabha to a question by Congress MPs Abdul Khaleque and Gaurav Gogoi, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that the Supreme Court – vide its order dated May 8, 2018 – allowed the State Coordinator to develop a system to provide reasons of rejection without bringing the same in the public domain so as to protect the privacy of the applicants.
On the direction of the Supreme Court, the hard copies of the supplementary list of inclusions and online family-wise list of exclusions were published on August 31, 2019, he added.
The NRC in Assam is an application-based process. Each applicant is mandatorily required to furnish documentary proof of residence of self or ancestors (legacy person) in Assam or any other part of India on or before the cut-off date, through one of the stipulated legacy documents, the Minister said.
A total of 19,06,657 persons have been found not eligible for inclusion in the NRC list published on August 31, 2019. Any person not satisfied with the decision for inclusion of name may prefer to appeal before the designated Tribunal constituted under the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964. The period of appeal was increased from 60 days to 120 days, with effect from August 21, 2019, he said.
At least 200 Appellate Foreigners Tribunals, in addition to the existing 100 FTs, were established in 2019. The Assam government has made arrangements to provide legal aid to those people excluded from the final NRC by providing all assistance through the District Legal Services Authority, the Minister informed.