The Supreme Court ordered on Tuesday that the list of those excluded from the final Assam NRC be published only online on August 31.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman said that like Aadhaar data, an appropriate regime be enacted for securing the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) data.
The apex court also said that the ongoing Assam NRC exercise, which is being monitored by the apex court, cannot be ordered to be reopened on the basis of certain legal challenges raised before it.
It had earlier said that the final Assam NRC would be published on or by August 31.
It had also brushed aside criticism and statements made in the Assam Assembly and outside relating to the exercise carried out for NRC and had asked the Centre to adhere to the deadline of August 31.
The court had said that it was not bothered about what was being said about the NRC and was only looking at the entire exercise of NRC being completed within the deadline of August 31.
On July 23, the top court had extended the deadline for publication of the final NRC in Assam by a month to August 31 while rejecting the pleas seeking permission for 20 per cent sample re-verification.
The Centre and the Assam government had sought permission for sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusions, especially in districts bordering Bangladesh, and exclusions of persons in the NRC which was to be published by July 31.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31, 2017, and January 1, 2018, in accordance with the top court’s direction. Names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated then.
Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
(with inputs from agencies)