Assam NRC final publication deadline extended to August 31

No ‘sample re-verification’ though as Supreme Court turns down pleas of Centre and Assam
The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the deadline for the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam from July 31 to August 31. A Special Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, however, did not accede to the “fervent” pleas of the Union and Assam governments for a “sample reverification” of the names included in and excluded from the draft, which was published on July 30 last year.’ Both governments said many names had been wrongly included and excluded, and a sample re-verification was necessary to quell the “growing perception” that lakhs of illegal immigrants might have made it to the list, especially in districts bordering Bangladesh. “This is too great a matter… People’s lives will be affected. We have to be 100% right. There cannot be a speck of doubt on the entirety of the NRC exercise… The error percentage in the border districts is just over 7%, while in other districts the average is over 12%,” Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said. He said the low error percentage in the border districts was suspicious, especially when over the years these areas had seen people cross the border illegally and settle down in the State, thus spoiling the opportunity of the natives to make a life for themselves. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for Assam said the proposed sample reverification would take the extended time the court had given till August 31. “It will not harm anybody and will give everybody satisfaction,” he submitted.

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