Home Ministry working to expand scope of NRC across India

Home Ministry working to expand scope of NRC across India
Representational Pic

While the finalization of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is at an advance stage in Assam, the Home Ministry is working on modalities to implement across the country the exercise to identify illegal immigrants for deportation.

An amendment in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964,issued by the central government on May 30 paves the way for expanding thescope of NRC beyond.

The amended order empowers state governments and evendistrict magistrates of all states and Union Territories to set up tribunals toidentify a "foreigner" who is living in India illegally.

Until now, only the Centre had the power to constitute suchtribunals, which were essentially quasi-judicial bodies unique to Assam.

The NRC exercise in Assam – under the supervision of theSupreme Court – is one of the most keenly watched processes in the country asseveral lakh people will be rendered stateless once the final list ispublished.

Pitching for the NRC to be a nationwide exercise and notjust restricted to Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday told theRajya Sabha that the government will ensure that all illegal settlers in Indiaare deported as per international law.

The government would deport illegal immigrants from"every inch of the country's soil", Shah said in the House.

The NRC, first published in Assam in 1951, is being updatedas per directions of the Supreme Court to segregate Indian citizens living inAssam from those who have illegally entered the state from Bangladesh afterMarch 25, 1971.

The apex court had asked the Centre and the Assam governmentto publish the list by July 31 but both the governments have sought more timeto do so, citing the need for "sample re-verification" in areasbordering Bangladesh.

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, while replying toa query on the NRC in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, had also said there wouldbe "some delay in finalising the NRC" as the government does not wantgenuine citizens to be left out or any illegal immigrant to be included.

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