In a recent judgement by the Supreme Court, the Centre and Assam government have been directed to effectuate an immediate inter-cadre transfer of National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Hajela to Madhya Pradesh for maximum period permissible under relevant guidelines. The judgement was delivered by a division bench consisting of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde and R F Nariman. This comes in the backdrop of the threat perceptions received by Hajela. Despite enquiry behind the reason for such an immediate and sudden order of transfer, by the Attorney General K K Venugopal, no reason was specified. CJI Rajan Gogoi only said, “ Can there be an order without a reason?” Hajela has been involved in the exercise of the National Register of Citizen [NRC] since September 2013 and is the Supreme Court mandated coordinator of the NRC, following their judgement, responsible for the creation of a “legacy data” system.
In the previous development over the issue of the NRC in the state of Assam, it can be seen that a total of 3, 30, 27, 661 people had applied to be included in the register of citizen. However, of them, while 3, 11, 21, 004 have been included in the register the other 19, 06, 657 have been excluded, in the latest list published. NRC hearing has been next posted on the 26th of November this year.
Previous Complaints and FIRs against Hajela:
Previously this year, the All Assam Goriya-Moriya Yuva Chatra Parishad (AAGMYCP) filed two distinct First Information Reports [FIRs] against Hajela in Dibrugarh and Guwahati. Apart from the said FIR, one Chandan Mazumdar, who was excluded from the final NRC list as published, also filed the complaint against Hajela at Dibrugarh police station on Wednesday. The allegation set out by Mazumdar in his complaint was the Hajela was involved in “inefficiency and criminal conspiracy of employees”. Therefore, despite having submitted all the required documents, his name was not there in the final list of NRC, as published. Another complaint registered against the Supreme Court mandated state-coordinator at Guwahati at the Latasil Police Station by the AAGMYCP, alleged “deliberate” anomalies in the final list. AAGMYCP is a student organisation which said:
“The names of many indigenous people were excluded from the list, and it was done deliberately by the NRC state coordinator,”
Apart from the FIRs and complaints, as stated above against Hajela, another complaint was also filed by NGO Assam Public Works (APW) at Guwahati’s Geetanagar against three declared foreigners, alleging that their names have been published final NRC list as updated recently. Their complaint also implicates the authorities of Morigaon, who were allegedly responsible for including the names of the three declared foreigners.
However, the police is yet to register a case based on the second FIR filed by AAGMYCP. No media could gather the comments of Hajela on the said transfer, as the Supreme Court has barred him from speaking to the media.