Asking the Supreme Court to allow re-verification of 20 per cent random samples of citizens to identify wrongful inclusion and exclusion in the final National Register of Citizens draft list, the Centre and Assam government on Friday sought from the top court an extension of the July 31 deadline to publish the final NRC list.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the state government, also asked 10 per cent sample re-verification of names included in the final draft in the remaining districts.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman took note of the submission of the solicitor general to extend the deadline to a "future date" stating that due to the involvement of local officers, lakhs of people were wrongly included in the NRC in districts bordering Bangladesh.
"Please extend the deadline for publication of final Assam NRC from July 31 to a future date. There is a growing perception that many exclusions and many more inclusions have been made wrongly," the solicitor general said.
The court, which had fixed July 31 as the deadline for publication of the final list of the NRC, has now fixed the applications of both the centre and Assam government for deliberation on July 23 on the issue of proposed sample survey.
"India cannot be the refugee capital of the world," Mehta said, claiming that names of Indian citizens were excluded and illegal Bangladeshi migrants were included in the draft.
Both the governments moved the apex court on July 17 seeking a direction for 20 per cent sample re-verification of names included in the final NRC draft in the districts of Assam bordering Bangladesh.
The Centre has also sought a direction that such re-verification exercise to be conducted by Class I officers of the state government from other districts who have knowledge and experience of handling the process of enquiry/investigation.
The pleas by the government also asked the court to fix the venue of the sample re-verification at a place which was not in the vicinity of the initial NRC verification to rule out the possibility of local influences, bias and threat.
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 PTI)