Supreme Court moves out Assam NRC chief, gives Centre 7 days to shift him to MP
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the transfer of senior bureaucrat Prateek Hajela, who was in charge of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, to Madhya Pradesh on deputation.
The top court’s bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said Hajela, the coordinator of the NRC, should be on inter-state deputation for the maximum period permissible under the rules.
The CJI refused to share the reason for the transfer order when attorney general KK Venugopal asked him.
“Can an order be passed without any reason or cause?” CJI Gogoi asked.
He also asked the government to notify Hajela’s transfer within seven days.
Hajela, the 1995 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, had overseen the process of updating NRC in Assam.
Nearly two million people were left out of the final version of the NRC list published on August 31 this year as part of an exercise to check illegal immigration.
The Supreme Court-monitored process of updating the NRC for Assam, which was last compiled 68 years ago, took four years and 55,000 officials poring over 66.4 million documents.
Earlier, the provisional drafts of the NRC, published in July 2018 and June 2019, had excluded roughly 4.1 million people.
The officer and other unidentified officials have also been named in at least two cases against for alleged “discrepancies” in the final NRC list.