New Delhi, Sep 24: The Supreme Court has sought responses from the Centre and the Assam government on a plea filed by a woman, who was declared a foreigner and her name was excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), and directed that no steps be taken for her deportation.

A bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli agreed to hear the plea filed by the woman who has challenged the June 2019 verdict of the Gauhati High Court.

The high court had dismissed her petition, thereby affirming the June 2017 order of the Foreigners Tribunal, Bongaigaon, declaring her to be a foreigner who had illegally entered India from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971.

Advocate Pijush Kanti Roy, appearing for the woman, told the apex court that all the other members of the petitioner's family were, however, included in the NRC.

"Issue notice, returnable in three weeks," the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on October 17.

"Till the next date of listing, no steps shall be taken for the deportation of the petitioner," the apex court said in its order passed on Friday.

The petitioner has claimed that she is a citizen of India by birth.

The plea said the parents, siblings and husband of the petitioner are all citizens of India.

"The petitioner is a citizen of India by birth and entire family members of the petitioner from the side of her parents as well as her in-laws have been declared as Indian citizen by the competent authority," her plea said.

"However, the tribunal as well as the division bench of Gauhati High Court without looking into various exhibited documents have declared the petitioner as foreigner, which has resulted in serious miscarriage of justice," it said.

It said that in the draft NRC, the name of the petitioner along with her entire family members was appearing.

However, in the final NRC published by the competent authority, name of entire family members, except her, have been included thereby declaring them as Indian citizen, the plea said.

It said the petitioner had produced series of documents in support of her citizenship but neither the tribunal nor the high court relied on them and dismissed her case.

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Moscow, Dec 4: About 2,500 seals have been found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia, officials said Sunday.

Authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan said it was unclear why the mass die-off happened but that it was likely due to natural causes.

Regional officials initially reported Saturday that 700 dead seals were found on the coast, but the Dagestan division of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later raised the figure to about 2,500.

Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Environmental Protection Center, said in a statement that the seals likely died a couple of weeks ago. He added that there was no sign that they were killed or caught in fishing nets.

Experts of the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coastline and collected data for laboratory research, which didn't immediately spot any pollutants.

Several previous incidents of mass seal deaths were attributed to natural causes. Kazakhstan, which has a long Caspian coastline, reported at least three such incidents this year.

Data about the number of seals in the Caspian vary widely. The fisheries agency has said the overall number of Caspian seals is 270,000-300,000, while the Caspian Environmental Protection Center put the number at 70,000.