01, Nov 2018
Providing relief to lakhs of Assamese, the Supreme Court today allowed the inclusion of all fifteen documents for the ongoing claims process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The verdict deals a blow to NRC state coordinator Shri Prateek Hajela’s contention that five specific documents be dropped from the list of documents required to establish ‘legacy’ for citizens. CJP, which has been working on the ground to help those excluded from the final NRC draft had comprehensively rejected Mr. Hajela’s submission to the court here and here.
The five documents in question are: 1951 NRC, voter lists up to March 24, 1971, citizenship certificates, refugee registration certificates, and ration cards issued prior to March 24, 1971. Interestingly, the Assam government itself, as well as many other stakeholders, whose opinion was sought by the Supreme Court, had supported the inclusion of all fifteen documents.
The Court also extended the claim submissions process window to December 15. This order too will go a long way in providing relief to the lakhs of people who, finding their names excluded from the final draft, stare at an uncertain future, their apprehensions further deepened by the use of terms such as “termites” and “ghuspathiyas” by none less than the national president of the ruling party. The effects of such hate-mongering can be seen in a spate of suicides that has taken place since the publication of the final draft of the NRC.
The CJP team, drawing from its previous experience in providing legal aid in Gujarat, has stepped in with a multi-faceted team of volunteers to ensure that these people receive a fair chance while filing claims across 18 of the worst affected districts. We want to help people reclaim their rights as citizens. We aim to scale up our campaign and for that we need your support. Your contribution can help cover the costs of travel, documentation and technological expenses and eventually legal expenses. Please donate generously here.
The fifteen eligible documents, also known as List A, are essential for establishing the presence of the applicant or an ancestor in Assam before 1971. Apart from the five documents now allowed by the Court, the ten other documents include land documents; permanent residential certificate issued from outside the state; passport; Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) insurance policy; any licence or certificate issued by any government authority; document showing service or employment under government or Public Sector Undertakings; bank or post office accounts; birth certificates issued by the competent authority; educational certificate issued by Boards or Universities; and records or processes pertaining to court, provided they are part of a processing in a judicial or revenue court.
The Supreme Court’s order may be read here: