By: Radhakrishna NS
DAYS after the Indian Home Ministry clarified that those left out of the National Register of Citizens in Assam will continue to enjoy all rights of a citizen till they exhaust all legal remedies, the Election Commission has decided that such people will continue to be voters if their names exist in the electoral rolls of the state.
A senior functionary of the poll panel on Friday said until those left out of the NRC are eventually declared foreigners after they exhaust all their legal remedies, they would not be disenfranchised.
A foreigner cannot be a voter in India, according to the Representation of the People Act, the functionary pointed out.
The EC functionary referred to a clarification issued by the Home Ministry earlier this month that those left out of the NRC would continue to enjoy all rights as earlier, like other citizens.
The functionary said there will be no review of their voting rights till they use all legal options available to them.
The final NRC was released on August 31 with 19,06,657 of the total 3,30,27,661 applicants excluded and 3,11,22,004 included.
The process for updating NRC was started in Assam following a Supreme Court order in 2013 and since then, the apex court has been closely monitoring the entire process.
As per electoral laws, name of a voter cannot be deleted without issuing a notice.