SC extends deadline for publication of final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens

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Supreme Court has extended deadline for publication of final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) from earlier June 30, 2018 to July 31, 2018. This extension comes after Central Government and the state coordinator of NRC agreed to publish it within the new time limit.

Key Facts

The NRC is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam. The major northeastern state had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since early 20th century. It is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951. SC for giving extension to deadline had considered report of state NRC coordinator. The report had mentioned that it would be not be possible to release final draft of the NRC as scheduled on June 30, 2018 due to the floods in state.

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

NRC contains the names of bona fide Indian Citizens of Assam that distinguish them from the foreigners. It is updated periodically. However, in Assam the updation could not be carried on since 1951 due to various political tensions such as Assam Movement of 1980s, the language movement and other ethnic movements.

It was first updated in 1951 but since then it has been not updated due to various political tensions such as Assam Movement of 1980s, language movement and other ethnic movements. But now it is being updated in time bound manner after Supreme Court judgment (2014) to incorporate Assam Accord of 1985 in order to tackle the issue of illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

NRC is being updated as per provisions of Citizenship Act, 1955 and Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It will include names of person or their descendants whose name appear in NRC 1951 or any of Electoral Rolls up to midnight of 24th March 1971.

The actual implementation of NRC is done by Statutory Authorities i.e. Local Registrars and District Magistrates appointed by State Government. A senior official of State Government functions as State Coordinator and coordinates with Registrar General of Citizen Registration (RGI) in regard to various activities.

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