06, Sep 2018 | Zamser Ali
The alleged double standards of the Government of India and Government of Assam with respect to the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam appear to have encouraged the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela to allegedly violate an important NRC rule in a bid to drop five important documents from the Modalities.
This was exposed on Wednesday before Supreme Court of India. It was even witnessed from the order by the two bench Judge of Honorable Supreme Court of India.
On September 5, 2018, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, hearing upon the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 274/2009, filed by Assam Public Works said, “we have read and considered the report of the learned State Co-ordinator for National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam with regard to preparation of the Modalities of the Standard Operating Procedure for dealing with claims and objections. The said Report has been submitted pursuant to our order dated 28.8.2018.” The two bench Judge very specifically stated, “In the said Report the learned State Co-ordinator has stated that the following ten documents out of list ‘A’ documents can be relied upon/introduced afresh by any claimant following his/her claim for inclusion in the NRC subject to the authenticity of the said documents being certified by the relevant issuing Authority.”
It is matter of fact that though that the Modalities of NRC, on basis of which 3.29 crore People submitted their applications were allowed to submit any one or more than one core documents that was listed in list A of core. Some other documents were allowed as supporting documents those were listed in list B for establishing linkage with the legacy person.
As per Modalities the Legacy Documents those were listed in List A documents were:
1. Extract of NRC, 1951
2. Extract or Certified copies of Voters list up to 1971 midnight.
3. Land Records including tenancy records up to 24th March, 1971 midnight.
4. Citizenship Certificates
issued by the competent Authority up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
5.Permanent Residential Certificates issued by the competent Authority from outside the State up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
6. Refugee Certificates issued by the competent Authority up to 24 March 1971 midnight.
7. Passport issued by Government of India up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
8. LIC policy up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
9. Any License/Certificates issued by the competent Authority up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
10. Documents showing service/ employment by any Government/ Public Sector Undertakings up to 24 March, 1971 midnight
11. Bank/ Post office Account up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
12. Birth Certificates issued by the competent Authority up to 24 March, 1971 midnight.
13. Educational Certificates issued by Board/ University
issued upto 24 March, 1971 midnight.
14. Records/ Processes pertaining to the court up to midnight of 24 March, 1971.
15. Ration card issued by the competent Authority with official seal and signature up to 24th March Midnight, 1971.
But, as per affidavit filed by Prateek Hajela, following five documents will not be admissible for inclusion of a name in updated NRC during claim Applications. They are:
1. Extract of NRC, 1951
2. Voters list up to 1971
3. Citizenship Certificates
4. Refugee Certificates
5. Ration card issued by the competent Authority with official seal and signature up to 24th March Midnight, 1971.
The August 5, 2018 Order of the Supreme Court in the NRC matter may be read here:
As per order issued by two Judge bench of Honorable Supreme Court of India State Co-ordinator, NRC wants following ten documents to be recognized as admissible during claim applications. They are:
1. Land Records including sale deed, records of land rights
2. P R C issued by the competent Authority from outside the State
4. LIC policy
5. Any License/ Certificates issued by any Government Authority
6. Documents showing service/ employment by any Government/ PSU
7. Bank/ Post office Account
8.. Birth Certificates
9. Educational Certificates issued by Board/ University
10. Records/ Processes pertaining to the court. All these ten documents will be admissible which are available or issued up to midnight of 24 March, 1971.
Violation of NRC Rule
The affidavit that was submitted by Prateek Hajela has violated the NRC’s own rule. This is what the schedule that was that specifically written in Rule 4 A (4) which was enacted for Special Provision as to manner of Preparation of National Register of Indian Citizen in State of Assam said:
This was the primary pillar of NRC of Assam. All other 13 documents were consented as admissible into the NRC with threadbare Consultation with various counterparts.
Those 13 documents came to the consideration because if someone was dropped or missed from NRC, 1951 or Electoral Rolls up to 1971, he or she may have some sorts of relief from 13 other documents. But, ignoring the basic documents which are cited in the NRC Rule, there is a clear violation of the rule by the State Co-ordinator, NRC by disallowing this two fundamental documents during claim applications.
However, there is still hope as the court has given the government as well as all stakeholders two weeks to respond to this. The date of receipt of applications for claims and objections remains deferred till further orders. The case has been adjourned till September 19, 2018.
Challenge for Bengali Hindus
Many of the Bengali Hindus residing in Assam, came after 1951 may not have their names in NRC, 1951 or Electoral Rolls up to 1971, they have with them Citizenship Certificates and Refugee Certificates up to 1971. So, they can’t be assumed as Foreigners or illegal Intruders in Assam as per Assam Accord, 1985. They are entitled to have their rights by this two documents into the updated NRC. But, the affidavit submitted by Prateek Hajela in Supreme Court of India hints that these two vital documents will not be admissible for the claim Applications of NRC. Thus, lakhs of Bengali Hindus who are Indian citizens, are likely to be dropped from the Final NRC. If the non-admissibility of Extract / Certified copies of the NRC, 1951 and Voters list up to 1971 is viewed as a conspiracy against Minority Muslims of Assam, the non-admissibility of Refugee and Citizenship Certificates is a conspiracy against Bengali Hindus of Assam.