New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said the exercise of making the final report of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam had to be completed by the July 31, 2019 deadline. (Also read: ‘India Isn’t a Dharamshala For Illegal Migrants,’ Says Amit Shah)

The top court also said that the upcoming general election and exercise of NRC should not be affected, and asked the competent authorities to sit together to plan them. It also asked the Assam chief secretary, secretary of Election Commission and the NRC coordinator in the state to hold a meeting to decide how the officials have to be accommodated for the two exercises.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Assam, will ensure that the meeting is held within seven days. The outcome of the meeting will be informed to the apex court on February 5, when the matter will be taken again to the bench.

The court said that the process for Lok Sabha elections may continue simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Hajela told the apex court that there were 36.2 lakh claims for inclusion of names in the final NRC. “Over two lakh objections were raised against names included in draft till December 31. Notices to be issued to claimants 15 days before hearing of claims, that will start on February 15.”

Earlier, the apex court had extended the last date of filing claims and objections for the inclusion of names in the draft NRC from December 15 to December 31, 2018.

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.