New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday made it clear that the deadline for finalisation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, which is July 31, will not be extended.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice RF Nariman also gave a ‘free hand’ to Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela in dealing with claims and objections of persons against wrong exclusion or inclusion of citizens in the NRC.

The top court’s direction came on Hajela’s submission to the bench that many persons, who had objected to inclusion of certain individuals in the draft NRC, are not coming forward before panels which are dealing with such complaints.

In February, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Centre over the Assam NRC process and said it is hell-bent on not allowing the work to continue. A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi had alleged the Centre of not cooperating in the NRC process. It also asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to consider exempting certain state officers from Lok Sabha elections 2019 duty to ensure that the NRC process continues.

The top court, on January 24, had said that the exercise of making the final report of NRC in Assam has to be completed by July 31, 2019 deadline. Following the ruling, the Assam government had approached the court and sought an extension of the deadline of the claims and objections window beyond December 15. The state government had asked for the extension of the deadline as only 10 lakh people out of the total 40 lakh excluded had been able to submit applications for the inclusion of their names in the final list.

The draft Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018 in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.