The need for such an exercise has arisen following representations Assam has received from several organizations over wrongful inclusion & exclusion of names, the applications said. Re-verification must be done for both inclusion & exclusion, they submitted.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta mentioned the applications on Tuesday before the court of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi & urged him to hear them before the deadline. Initially, the CJI said he would hear it on August 1 but later agreed to look into the request
The state said the exercise was essential in view of allegations of bribery playing a key role in the inclusion of several names despite such people being declared illegal foreigners by designated tribunals.
Both pointed out that on August 28, 2018, the apex court bench of CJI Gogoi & justice RF Nariman had agreed to consider the necessity of carrying out sample re-verification of at least 10% names included in the final list of the NRC. However, the court did not pass any subsequent orders for re-verification.
Re-verification, the Centre & state said, should be done by Class I officers of the state who have knowledge & experience of handling the process of enquiry & investigation. Also, it should be done at a venue different from the one where NRC verification was done.
“There have been several instances where foreigners who were detected & declared as such by tribunals have been included in the draft NRC. Even cases of declared foreigners having been engaged as NRC officials have come to light,” Assam said in its plea.
The Centre’s application said, “It is submitted that preparation of NRC involves verification of documents produced & involves a large number of officials & people working at the ground level. The sensitivity & complexity of the matter are also evident from the fact that the said exercise has been going on since 2013.”
The draft list, published on July 30 last year, contained 2,89,63,877 names & left out over 40,00,000 as ineligible for inclusion. The preparation of the NRC was undertaken in 2013 on court orders, with the objective of identifying & deporting illegal immigrants to find a permanent solution to the problem of illegal immigration in the state. The court ordered the state co-ordinator to consider claims & objections against the draft NRC list, after which December 31, 2018, was fixed as the deadline to accept them.
Over 36 lakh claims & 2 lakh objections were filed before the state co-ordinator, the hearing for which commenced in February 2019