Assam NRC list: Apex Court asks centre to follow SOP in filing objections

The Supreme Court on July 31 observed that the process of filing objections by those 40 lakh persons whose names are not listed in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft list in Assam should be fair and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) should be applied.

A SC division bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi said that as per the rules the Centre should place the SOP before it by 16 August and that a local registrar has to give notice to those who have filed claims and objections and give them a reasonable opportunity for hearing in the same matter.

Justice Gogoi said, “We will see if it is fair or not. Then we will decide. If something needs to be done, we will do.”

“Everybody should get a fair opportunity considering the complexities and numbers, etc, involved. You (government) place it before us. If it is fair, we will approve. If not, we will disapprove. If there is anything missing, we will fill it,” Justice Gogoi addressed Attorney General K.K. Venugopal.

“You do what you want to do, then we will say. Our silence is neither agreement nor rejection nor assurance,” Apex court toldVenugopal.

Attorney General Venugopal, on the other hand, informed the court that the Ministry concerned is preparing the SOP to deal with claims and objections and to ensure a fair process. He also gave assurance to the SC that the SOP would be submitted to the court in mid-August.

NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela told the court that the claims and objections with regard to inclusion and exclusion in the NRC could be filed from 30 August to 28 September.