The rejection slips with detailed reasons for exclusion from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have not been issued due to Covid-19 pandemic and floods, the Ministry of Home Affairs told Parliament on Tuesday. Earlier, a senior government lawyer had cited non-acceptance of NRC by the Registrar General and pleas for re-verification as the reason for not issuing rejection slips.
Answering a question by Abdul Khaleque and Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MPs from Assam, Minister of State, MHA Nityanand Rai said on Tuesday, “The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 08.05.2018 allowed the State Coordinator for developing a system to provide reasons of rejection without bringing the same in the public domain so as to protect the privacy of the applicant(s). Due to outbreak of Covid-19 and flood situation, the process of issuing rejection slips has been postponed.”
Over 1.9 million applicants who did not make it to the NRC list published in 2019 have been waiting for rejection slips which would form the basis of their appeals against exclusion to foreigners tribunals.
Earlier, SC Keyal, the then Assistant Solicitor General of India had cited different reasons for non-issuance of rejection slips. Appearing for the Union of India as well as the NRC Coordinator, Keyal told a Gauhati High Court bench that, “Draft NRC for the State of Assam is yet to be accepted by the Registrar General of India. Since there are number of applications pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court seeking re-verification of the NRC records and for preparation of a fresh NRC, the authorities are not in a position to issue rejection slips as on date.”