New Delhi, Sep 1: Taking cognizance of commentaries in a section of foreign media on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue in Assam, the Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday asserted that the entire process is driven by the directives of the Supreme Court and is transparent and "leaves no room for bias and injustice".
"Exclusion from the NRC has no implication on the rights of an individual residing in Assam," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a video released by the government.
Those who are not in the final list will not be detained and will "continue to enjoy all the rights" as before till they have exhausted all the remedies like going to courts, he said.
"It does not make the excluded person stateless.....it does not make him or her a foreigner," the spokesman said.
"They will not be deprived of any rights which they have enjoyed before," he said.
"As can be seen from the application form for the data entry for NRC, there was no column in the application asking for the religion of the applicant," Mr Kumar said.
"Anyone excluded from the list at this stage has a right to file an appeal within 120 days ...to the designated tribunal," he said.
He also clarified that even after Tribunal orders an aggrieve person can appeal to the High Court of Assam and then also the Supreme Court.
The MEA spokesman said the entire NRC exercise was not an "executive driven step" and is a fair process based on scientific methodology.
The government will also provide assistance through district legal service authorities, he said.
Mr Kumar said the NRC exercise was only a fulfillment of the commitment made by the central government in 1985 when a tripartite agreement was filed between the Government of India (then headed by Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi), the Assam government and All Assam Students Union and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad.