Union Home Minister Amit Shah has reviewed the issues related to final publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
The review meeting, held here on Monday, was attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretary of Assam and other senior officials.
According to an official release from the Ministry of Home Affairs, extensive deliberations were made on the issue.
The meeting decided to full opportunity to those excluded from the NRC, to appeal against their non-inclusion. "Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the appellate authority, that is, Foreigner Tribunals (FT)," said the statement.
Under the provisions of Foreigners Act 1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964, only FTs are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner. Thus, non-inclusion of a person's name in NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared as a foreigner.
As it may not be possible for all those excluded from the final NRC to file the appeal within the prescribed time limit, the MHA will amend the rules to increase the present time limit of filing of appeals in FTs from 60 days to 120 days. The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 are also being amended accordingly, the statement further said.
On July 23, the Supreme Court had extended the deadline for the final publication of the NRC in Assam from July 31 to August 31.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman had passed the order on a plea filed by the Centre and Assam government for extension of the deadline.
The top court had, however, refused to allow a plea for 20 per cent sample re-verification of those included and excluded from the NRC.
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