Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted that the Government of India is interested in the full report.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court, which had on August 28 questioned the Centre on the need for re-doing the verification exercise from claimants who are left out in the 40 lakh National Register of Citizens through a new document, on Wednesday allowed such a verification through a set of 10 new documents that were not produced earlier.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Nariman, while examining the NRC and the standard operating procedure (SOP), had expressed reservations over a clause providing for submission of any new document, which was not submitted earlier by those who are left out in the NRC. On Wednesday while allowing fresh documents, the bench deferred until further orders the receipt of claims and objections.
Justice Gogoi had told Attorney General K.K. Venugopal that the government could not “re-start” the whole exercise of verification of names by permitting the claimants to establish a fresh legacy. Justice Gogoi pointed out that the Centre’s decision that the claimants can submit “additional admissible legacy and linkage documents” amounts to “restarting” the NRC verification exercise afresh leading to undesirable consequences.
It sought a confidential report from NRC project coordinator on the possible ramifications if persons are allowed to claim legacy through a different family member.
During the resumed hearing on Wednesday the bench, after perusing the confidential report of Prateek Hajela, agreed with his suggestion that instead of 15 documents, which were mentioned in the SOP, re-verification of claim could be allowed with 10 documents.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted that the Government of India is interested in the full report. Therefore, he sought for a copy of the record prepared by the state coordinator, which details the modalities concerning claims for inclusion in the NRC.
Justice Gogoi, however, declined this request stating, “The Government of India may be interested. Mr Attorney, but we have to balance things. This is all we can do at this point. This should be sufficient for the present for the GOI and other stakeholders to form their views and thereafter orders will be passed. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 19.