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Will not extend Jul 31 deadline for publication of final Assam NRC: SC

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Wednesday reiterated that it will not extend the July 31 deadline for publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in and said the NRC work and polls can go on simultaneously in the state.

The Centre informed the top court that 167 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) deployed in the state will not be diverted for poll duty.

A bench of and Justice R F Nariman said requisite manpower and technology needed for publication of final NRC by July 31 will be provided.

"We will not extend the deadline for publication of final NRC on July 31, 2019. polls and NRC work can go on simultaneously," the bench said after state NRC Prateek Hajela submitted that some of the officials engaged in the NRC exercise have been assigned poll duty.

Hajela also said he needs them back to join the NRC exercise post-poll in order to meet the deadline.

"Till elections in the state are over, I have to work with current set of people. But after the polls, more people will be needed for the NRC work. I will also be needing IT people for quality checks and data entry to meet the deadline of July 31," Hajela said.

The bench said, "All we are concerned is meeting the deadline of July 31. After the polls more manpower and will be provided. How you do the work is your concern," the bench told Hajela.

K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre said that the (MHA) has passed an order by which 167 companies of CAPF currently engaged in NRC work will not be withdrawn from the state.

The top court posted the matter for further hearing on April 10 and said that in case of any difficulties faced in the publication work the bench would meet every month for 10 minutes to take stock of the situation.

On February 5, the apex court had observed that the Centre is "hell bent" on stalling the NRC work while rapping it for seeking suspension of the process during the polls citing non-availability of security forces.

The court had reiterated it would not extend the deadline of July 31 and also directed that 3,457 state government officers be kept free for NRC work and asked the to "examine the case of exemption of officers, in the rank of District Magistrates, Additional District Magistrates...from transfers which are likely to be made in view of the elections".

The Centre had said that in 2014 polls, 2,500 CAPF companies were deployed and this year, around 2,700 would be needed to ensure law and order.

It had said 167 CAPF companies, which are presently overseeing NRC works in Assam, would be sent to other parts of the country during elections.

The top court had said on January 24 that the July 31, 2019 deadline to finalise the NRC cannot be extended.

The draft National Register of Citizens for was published on July 30, 2018 in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.

The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017 and January 1 in accordance with the top court's direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.

Assam, which had faced influx of people from since the early 20th century, is the only state to have an NRC, first prepared in 1951.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 22:52 IST