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Centre, State govt move SC for extension of NRC deadline

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 19 - The Centre and the Assam government today moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Centre told an apex court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman that India cannot be the refugee capital of the world.

The Union and State governments also sought to include sample verification of the citizens in the NRC, saying lakhs of people have been wrongly included in areas bordering Bangladesh.

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who also represented the Assam government, called for changes in the process. He submitted before the bench that there is a growing perception that many inclusions and exclusions in NRC were wrong.

Pointing out that many people were included in the NRC despite being illegal immigrants, Mehta suggested that the process be modified so that there is no lack of confidence in the process.

These wrongful incursions are manifold in districts bordering Bangladesh, Mehta submitted. A reason for such wrongful inclusion was the influence of local officers, he claimed. He, therefore, sought that the deadline for completion of the process be extended beyond July 31. He also called for a sample verification.

�India cannot be refugee capital of world. But a relook at the process by sample verification is required,� he argued.

In response, CJI Gogoi remarked that sample verification is not required, as re-verification of 80 lakh people has been done.

NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela also sought an extension of time for the process. He informed the bench that the floods in Assam have affected the process, though most of the public engagement is over. He added that he would be ready with a supplementary list by August 31, and a final consolidated list by September 7.

The matter was then adjourned to next Tuesday, July 23. The NRC Coordinator has been directed to submit copies of his report to the Solicitor General.

On the last date of hearing, the Supreme Court had directed the NRC Coordinator to ensure that the process of disposing of claims and objections with respect to inclusion of names in the NRC is carried out in a fair and just manner.

Meanwhile, reacting to today�s development, the main petitioner, Assam Public Works (APW) said that they have sought 100 per cent re-verification of the NRC list. �We think that the Supreme Court, too, has realised that there is something amiss in the process. We will get some indications about our stand in future hearings,� said APW president Aabhijeet Sharmah.

�The NRC will be considered as a national document only if it is 100 per cent correct. But who will ensure its authenticity,� asked Sharmah.

Meanwhile, All Assam Minority Students� Union (AAMSU) advisor Azizur Rehman said that the demand for 100 per cent re-verification by APW and 20 per cent by Central and Assam governments means that the people will suffer physical, mental and economic harassment. By making such demands they are trying to sow the seeds of suspicion. It is a conspiracy hatched to keep the issue of illegal migrants alive even after publication of the final NRC, he said.

Reacting to the hearing, All Assam Students� Union advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya said that they are hoping to get a foreigner-free NRC after the Supreme Court winds up its hearing of the case.

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Centre, State govt move SC for extension of NRC deadline

NEW DELHI, July 19 - The Centre and the Assam government today moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the July 31 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Centre told an apex court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman that India cannot be the refugee capital of the world.

The Union and State governments also sought to include sample verification of the citizens in the NRC, saying lakhs of people have been wrongly included in areas bordering Bangladesh.

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who also represented the Assam government, called for changes in the process. He submitted before the bench that there is a growing perception that many inclusions and exclusions in NRC were wrong.

Pointing out that many people were included in the NRC despite being illegal immigrants, Mehta suggested that the process be modified so that there is no lack of confidence in the process.

These wrongful incursions are manifold in districts bordering Bangladesh, Mehta submitted. A reason for such wrongful inclusion was the influence of local officers, he claimed. He, therefore, sought that the deadline for completion of the process be extended beyond July 31. He also called for a sample verification.

�India cannot be refugee capital of world. But a relook at the process by sample verification is required,� he argued.

In response, CJI Gogoi remarked that sample verification is not required, as re-verification of 80 lakh people has been done.

NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela also sought an extension of time for the process. He informed the bench that the floods in Assam have affected the process, though most of the public engagement is over. He added that he would be ready with a supplementary list by August 31, and a final consolidated list by September 7.

The matter was then adjourned to next Tuesday, July 23. The NRC Coordinator has been directed to submit copies of his report to the Solicitor General.

On the last date of hearing, the Supreme Court had directed the NRC Coordinator to ensure that the process of disposing of claims and objections with respect to inclusion of names in the NRC is carried out in a fair and just manner.

Meanwhile, reacting to today�s development, the main petitioner, Assam Public Works (APW) said that they have sought 100 per cent re-verification of the NRC list. �We think that the Supreme Court, too, has realised that there is something amiss in the process. We will get some indications about our stand in future hearings,� said APW president Aabhijeet Sharmah.

�The NRC will be considered as a national document only if it is 100 per cent correct. But who will ensure its authenticity,� asked Sharmah.

Meanwhile, All Assam Minority Students� Union (AAMSU) advisor Azizur Rehman said that the demand for 100 per cent re-verification by APW and 20 per cent by Central and Assam governments means that the people will suffer physical, mental and economic harassment. By making such demands they are trying to sow the seeds of suspicion. It is a conspiracy hatched to keep the issue of illegal migrants alive even after publication of the final NRC, he said.

Reacting to the hearing, All Assam Students� Union advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya said that they are hoping to get a foreigner-free NRC after the Supreme Court winds up its hearing of the case.

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