In a dramatic development, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered an immediate transfer of the Assam NRC chief Prateek Hajela. The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi directed the central government to pass an order on his transfer within the next seven days.
The government lawyer, KK Venugopal, asked CJI Gogoi for the reason behind Hajela’s transfer. To which the CJI said that there was no order without a reason but the final order did not specify the reason behind the 48-year-old IAS officer’s transfer.
The Attorney General asked, “Is there a particular reason for the transfer?” CJI Gogoi, according to Livelaw website, replied, “Can an order be without any basis?”
The bench that ordered Hajela’s transfer also comprised of Justices S. A. Bobde and Rohinton Nariman.
Hajela is a 1995-batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre and was tasked to supervise the task to update the National Register of Citizens in Assam.
The final NRC list, when released on 31 August, had left out 19 lakh citizens out of it. The process had come under considerable criticism since many families complained that, in innumerable instances, many parents had been included in the list but their children were left out.
A senior BJP minister had gone on record saying that he wasn’t happy that only 19 lakh people excluded from the last.