Guwahati: In a bid to provide adequate opportunity to persons whose names are excluded from final National Register of Citizens (NRC) to appeal against their non-inclusion, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has decided to amend rules to increase the time limit of filing of appeals in Foreigner Tribunals (FTs) from 60 to 120 days.
Union home minister Amit Shah reviewed the issues related to final publication of the NRC in Assam in New Delhi on Monday.
Every individual, whose name does not figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the appellate authority, that is, FTs. 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.
The review meeting was attended by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union home secretary, chief secretary of Assam and other senior officials.
“The state government has agreed to set up adequate number of such tribunals at convenient locations. It has been decided that state government would also make arrangements to provide legal aid to the needy people among those excluded from the NRC,” sources in the home ministry said.
The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 are also being amended accordingly.
In order to maintain law-and-order situation, Central armed paramilitary forces are being provided for deployment as per assessment of the state government, sources added.
The Supreme Court has already extended its July 31 deadline to August 31 for publication of the final NRC. This came after the NRC coordinator sought more time to ensure that draft lists and the list of new names (added after considering exclusion/inclusion) are published.