Fact Check

Mamata and others Opposed to Pan-India NRC Implementation, But Does the Law Back Them?

nrc implementation

As the Home Minister Amit Shah explained the scope of carrying NRC (National Register of Citizens) implementation across the nation, a political war has erupted. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that she will not allow NRC to be implemented in West Bengal. Some ministers in the state governments of Kerala and Madhya Pradesh also reportedly have opposed the possibilities of NRC implementation across India. Now here are the questions and the facts available in answering those questions on NRC. Let us check where the claims and counterclaims of various political parties stand on the factual ground.

Question

When Home Minister said that the process of NRC will be carried out across the country, did he already have the back up of law to carry such exercise?

Answer

Yes. The existing law provides for such an exercise. See what The Citizenship Rules, 2003 framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955 stipulates in this regard.

Question

Can Mamata Banerjee or any other Chief Minister decide whether to carry or not to carry such exercise in their state?

Answer

The law states, “the Central Government shall, for the purpose of National Register of Indian Citizens, cause to carry throughout the country a house-to-house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual, residing in a local area including the Citizenship status”

So, it can be said that beyond making it a political debate, Mamata Banerjee as a CM can’t really decide on the NRC implementation.

The rules clearly state that once the notification is issued, the local administration should assist the process.

Question

The argument of CM Mamata Banerjee is that the NRC in Assam was carried out due to the Assam Accord and hence the same can’t be done with the other states. Is that so?

Answer

It is true that the Supreme Court monitored NRC implementation is in progress in Assam in a particular context and a particular dateline because of its history of seeing a troubled time pre and post 1971 Bangladesh war. But it doesn’t mean that there is no provision for extending it to other states.

Question

If so, on what basis NRC can be carried out across India?

Answer

The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for compulsorily registration of every citizen of India and issuance of National Identity Card to him. The Citizenship Rules, 2003 framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955 prescribe the manner of preparation of the National Register of Citizens.

Question

Opposition accuses that the idea of NRC implementation is aimed at stripping Muslims from their Indian citizenship.

Answer

Both the laws mentioned in the previous answer do not make any discrimination on the basis of religion. The set of rules in these laws are same for people of all religions. Even, HM Amit Shah also made this clear in his reply in the Rajya Sabha.

So, when Home Minister Amit Shah said that the NRC implementation will be carried across the nation, it has legal backing and the bravado of CM Mamata Banerjee that she will not let that process to be implemented in her state could run counter to the law.

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