Govt cannot take any action against those left out of Assam draft NRC, says SC

• The Supreme Court today held that the Union Government cannot initiate any action against over 40 lakh persons left out of the draft Assam National Register of Citizens.

• The Bench of Justices directed the Centre, in consultation with State NRC Coordinator, to ensure that those left out of the draft NRC receive a ‘fair’ opportunity to be heard.

• The court directed the Union Government to frame a ‘fair’ standard operating procedures to deal with the claims and objections of those who did not find their names in the list.

• Attorney General K K Venugopal informed the court that the ministry concerned was working out the modalities of the standard operating procedure that would ‘deal with the different dimensions of the exercise of hearing the claims and objections to ensure that the process is fair.

• Mr Venugopal submitted that once the modalities were worked out, the standard operating procedure would be placed before the court by mid-August.

• The Bench said at the moment it would prefer to refrain from commenting on the draft NRC and would wait for the government to submit its standard operating procedure for vetting.

• The court posted the case for August 16 for further orders on timelines leading to the publication of the final NRC.

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