GUWAHATI, May 9 - The process of hearing of claims and objections on the draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) resumed in full swing after the Lok Sabha elections were over in the State. Around 65 percent of the hearings have been completed. Moreover, in cases where the persons who filed objections do not turn up, the officers concerned will deal with the cases on merit of the documents.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that there have been number of instances where the persons who filed objections did not turn up to attend the hearings. However, such objections will not be dismissed without verification of the documents. �The officers concerned will conduct ex-parte hearing in absence of those who filed objections and the cases will be decided on merit basis after scrutiny of the documents,� sources added.
Sources said that after the elections, the circle officers and Deputy Commissioners are also engaged in the job of verification of the claims and objections. The senior officers will carry out random checks of the hearing and verification process, while, there are certain complicated cases which need vetting of the senior officers. The process has gained momentum in recent times and it should be completed on time to ensure publication of the final NRC within the time stipulated by the Supreme Court. The Apex Court yesterday directed that the final NRC should be published by July 31.
Sources admitted that there have been instances where certain sections including a few organizations and a handful of political leaders had alleged that people were called for hearings in far away places. But sources clarified that the idea is not to harass anyone as alleged by certain organisations. The same method of hearing was used during the time of family tree verification process. The process used was also explained to the Supreme Court in detail, sources added. There were also demands from some organizations that the detail information of the persons who filed objections, should be made public but that is not possible.
On the reports that another draft of the NRC would be published, sources clarified that that draft would only contain names of the persons whose names are deleted from the final draft. �Constant quality checks are being carried out even after the publication of the draft of the NRC and later, it was found that names of some persons, whose names appeared in the draft, were declared as foreigners by Tribunals set up under the provisions of the Foreigners� Act or they have cases pending before Tribunals. Such names were deleted from the draft. However, as per law, such people should be given an opportunity to present their cases before the competent authorities and that is why, another draft containing names of such persons will be published on June 15 to enable them to file claims by June 30,� sources said. However, the number of such persons will not be large and it should be in thousands only, sources added.