The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to allow a plea to consider political parties as stakeholders for giving views on the standard operating procedure (SOP), prepared to decide on claims and objections of about 40 lakh people left out in the final draft National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

“No, political parties are out,” a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said categorically.

The court, however, allowed PIL petitioners NGO Assam Public Works and others and associations like All Assam Students Union, All Students Minority Students Union and Assam State Jamaat Ulema e Hind to give their views on the standard operating procedure by August 25.

On a request to allow others also to submit their views, the court said, “it is our prerogative to decide whom we want to hear.”

The court asked Prateek Hajela, NRC coordinator, to give in a sealed cover district-wise percentage of people left out in the NRC.

The court also directed for placing the NRC records at each Panchayat level to enable people to file their claims and objections. It also approved the proposal to receive the claims and objections from August 30.

The court put the matter for further consideration on August 28. As many as 2.89 crore people were found eligible for the final draft NRC, published on July 30, and over 40.07 lakh were left out in the exercise undertaken under its monitoring.

On July 31, the court said the draft NRC cannot be the basis for any action. On August 14, the Ministry of Home Affairs submitted the standard operating procedure, which included giving separate biometrics to those whose names were not included in the NRC.

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