India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the deadline for publication of the final National Register of Citizens in Assam by a month from July 31 to August 31. A Supreme Court bench, consisting of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoiand Justice R F Nariman, however, rejected the plea of the Assam government for sample re-verification of 20% names in Assam’s districts bordering Bangladesh border and the Indian government’s request for re-verification of 10% names in the remaining districts.
The Indian and the Assam governments had moved the apex court last week seeking extension of the July 31, 2019 timeline and sample re-verification of names on the ground that names of lakhs of illegal immigrants were included in the NRC and names of many other citizens left out of the list that has been prepared so far.
The Assam government, represented in this case by India’s Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, had argued in the top court last week that illegal immigrants needed to be purged from the NRC as “India cannot be the refugee capital of the world.” The names of just over 40 lakh of the 3.23 crore applicants for NRC inclusion were excluded from the final draft NRC that was published in July last year. The names of another one lakh people were deleted from the NRC recently. The updating of the NRC, mandated and supervised by the Supreme Court, is being done in Assam with the aim of weeding out illegal immigrants.