Guwahati: A National Register of Citizens (NRC) official refused to issue rejection slips to those left out of the NRC without orders from the Supreme Court, informed sources.
The official claimed that the rejections slip to those left out of the final register has not started. Moreover, there has to be an order in this regard from the apex court which is monitoring the case.
The NRC official said, “The state government appealed before the Supreme court seeking 20% sample re-verification of names included in draft NRC in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10% sample re-verification of names in the districts which are not bordering Bangladesh. The matter is sub-judice, hence, issuing of rejection slips doesn’t arise without orders from the SC.”
As per reports, the centre had asked the Assam Government to issue ‘rejection slips’ to those excluded from the final NRC published in 2019.
The Registrar General of India (RGI) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had turned down the request of the Assam Government’s financial support for completing pending work of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) beyond the stipulated period of time i.e March 31, 2021 and directed the Assam Government to complete the pending work of the NRC within the approved cost of the scheme.
The RGI joint director in a letter to the Assam Government secretary (Home and Political) has also stated that there shall be no further provision of funds for the expenditure beyond March 31. Earlier, in a letter on March 4, Assam Government had sought an additional Rs 3.22 crore per month beyond March 3 for the completion of the pending NRC activities.
The RGI had also asked the office of the state co-coordinator to be shifted to a state government building and terminate the services of the “surplus staff” and handover the workload to government staff.
Also, in December 2020, NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma in an affidavit in the Gauhati High Court had claimed that RGI was silent on the NRC process anomalies. Sarma in his affidavit said, “Instead of giving direction on how to rectify the same, RGI had asked NRC authorities to wind up operation by issuing rejection slips.”
Sarma’s affidavit further stated, “The RGI is also silent on the final publication of the NRC for which it is the only authority to take action and, till date, the final NRC is yet to be published by RGI as per Clause 7 of the Citizenship (registration of citizens and issue of national identity cards) Rules, 2003. The RGI is the highest authority under whose direction NRC updating has been taken up and is the only statutory authority empowered to take any decision on correction/rectification of anomalies if it is felt necessary.”
Notably, more than 19 lakh of the 3.29 cr applicants in Assam were left out of the final register that took five years to compile.
Meanwhile, the NRC state coordinator office turned chaotic over RGI’s order to terminate the services of the “surplus staff” engaged in the NRC process on a contractual basis for the past six years.
The RGI’s decision had triggered sensation amongst the contractual employees, as they are left out with no options to appeal or complain before the state government amidst the imposition of model code of conduct in the poll-bound Assam, claimed an employee before the media.
The contractual employees are now demanding a stay in RGI’s order.