The officials in charge of the Assam citizens’ list was slammed by the Supreme Court on Tuesday for speaking out of turn to the media, holding out hope for the 40 lakh people left out of the list.
The Apex Court questioned “on whose authority” State Coordinator Prateek Hajela made the statements. The Court said that he and the Registrar should be “sent to jail” but were only being spared because they have a “big job to do”.
The report said that in an interview with The Indian Express, Hajela had said the people, who had been left out of the list, can submit fresh documents during claims and objections. In the interview, he had also said the NRC exercise was “too premature” and all 40 lakh people cannot be termed “ghuspethiye” (intruders).
“Don’t forget you are officials of court,” said the top court, which is monitoring the process. “Your job is to prepare the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) and not to go to the Press holding brief for anybody,” added judges, holding up a copy of the daily.
The court also warned officials against speaking to the media in the future and said they would need its permission to do so. Hajela apologised to the court, saying he spoke to the media only after consulting with the Registrar General.