"The EC, with its objective of "no voter to be left behind", has asked CEO Assam to coordinate closely with State Coordinator NRC so as to ensure that all eligible persons are included in Electoral Roll during Summary Revision 2019". The Government of India did not oppose it.
But around four million, a majority of them Bengali-speaking Muslims, have not found their name on the list.
NRC has been brought to protect human rights of all citizens, he said.
The process for updating the NRC, the basic legal document for proof of Assamese identity, began in 2009 when the reclusive Pradip Kumar Bhuyan prepared the draft of the writ petition and persuaded Sarma, president of Assam Public Works (APW), a voluntary organisation, to be its petitioner in the apex court. NRC chief Prateek Hajela, whose office has processed 66 million documents and spent almost $180 million in the whole NRC process, declined comment on the religion of people who would be removed from the register. Of the these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
He informed the court that the claims and objections regarding inclusion and exclusion in the NRC could be filed from August 30 to September 28.
Mamata Banerjee, the firebrand chief minister of India's eastern state of West Bengal, accused the BJP of trying to make millions of people stateless for political reasons.
The bench then asked Hajela about the local registrars and of which level these officers are. "We should wait for the final NRC", Paul said.
"The octogenarian Bhuyan couple spent a huge amount of money from their own sources for our legal fight in the apex court", Sarma said.
The office of the Registrar-General of India had issued a notification on Monday for completion of the NRC update by December 31, 2018. We are yet to ascertain their size, feared to be a significant one. We will go through it. "It has to be a fair procedure with equal opportunity given to all", the bench said.
However, the government had not formulated an official policy for those people who are excluded from the NRC and declared foreigners by the tribunals."The NRC should not become a political tool to render stateless people who have been living in India for decades and have established strong links with the country", said Aakar Patel, Executive Director of Amnesty International India. "Our silence is not a symbol of agreement nor assurance", the bench said.
They could not apply for their names to be included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as they could not trace their family's legacy data or any similar document despite checking with their relatives across Assam, the sources said.