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The Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 31, ordered the Centre not to take any coercive action against those whose names are not there in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam as it is only a draft.

It also directed the Centre to formulate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with claims and objections and place it before the court by August 16 for approval and said it should be fair and should give reasonable opportunity to contest exclusion.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman said the Centre should place the SOP before it by August 16 and that a local registrar has to give notice to those who have filed claims and objections, and give them reasonable opportunity for hearing.

At the outset, Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Hajela placed before the court its status report giving details of publication of the draft NRC yesterday.

Around 40 lakh people in the northeastern state were excluded from the second draft of the National Register of Citizens that was released yesterday, Monday, by the government. The second draft includes about out of 2.9 crore names as opposed to 1.9 crores of the first draft, out of 3.29 crore applicants.

Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.

The top court had earlier said that the claims of those citizens, whose names do not figure in the draft NRC for Assam published by December 31 last year, would be scrutinised and included in the subsequent list, if found genuine.  National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator, Prateek Hajela said form for claims, objections, and requests for correction will be available from August 7 at the NSKs and can be submitted from August 30 to September 28, reported The Indian Express.

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