Assam NRC: Apex court rejected most of 51 petitions in 6 years
By Thehindu 26-Aug-2019
Many individuals and organisations had since 2013 filed petitions challenging one aspect of the NRC or the other. But the apex court narrowed the stakeholders down to 10, including the Central and Assam governments.
These stakeholders are the All Assam Students’ Union, All Assam Minority Students’ Union, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Assam Public Works, Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Progressive), Indigenous Tribal People’s Federation, and the Joint Action Committee for Bangali Refugees.
Of the four judgments that went in favour of the stakeholders, the most significant was allowing certificates issued by the Gram Panchayat or executive magistrate to be used as an identity document for claiming citizenship if issued after conducting proper enquiries. The Supreme Court had on November 30, 2017, set aside an order of the Gauhati High Court that invalidated such certificates.
The overruling of the High Court’s order provided relief to at least 29 lakh rural women in the State, who use the document to establish linkage with fathers and husbands.
“Another major verdict was on December 12, 2018, whereby the apex court rejected the NRC authority’s plea that documents issued after 2015 would not be accepted. Allowing the documents irrespective of the date of issue enabled many of those excluded from the draft NRC to re-apply,” a lawyer for one of the stakeholders said.
The third favourable ruling was on November 1, 2018, when the apex court reversed the NRC authority’s move to trim the list of admissible documents from 15 to 10. The five documents that the NRC authority said could not be relied upon included the NRC of 1951, electoral rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, and citizenship and refugee registration certificates issued by the competent authority.
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