Appearing for the Central government and the government of Assam in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) case today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Supreme Court (SC) that India cannot be the refugee capital of the world. The Central and the Assam government had moved the apex court seeking an extension of the July 31 deadline for the finalisation of the NRC.
“Illegal migrants have no place in the country. India cannot be the refugee capital of the world”, Mehta told a bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman. The Central and the State governments had also sought sample verification of the citizens included in the NRC. The governments cited that lakhs of people have been wrongly included in the final draft of the NRC in areas bordering Bangladesh due to the involvement of local officers.
“Please extend the deadline for publication of final Assam NRC from July 31 to a future date. There is a growing perception that many exclusions and many more inclusions have been made wrongly,” Mehta requested.
An affidavit was filed by the Centre seeking a direction for 20% re-verification of the final draft of the NRC in the districts bordering Bangladesh and 10% in the rest of Assam. The Supreme Court has postponed the hearing on NRC sample re-verification plea to July 23.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017, and the second draft was published on January 1, 2018, in line with SC’s direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were included at that point in time.