NEW DELHI, Oct 24 - The Centre on Thursday made a mention before the Supreme Court seeking extension of time to transfer National Register of Citizen (NRC) Coordinator Prateek Hajela from Assam to Madhya Pradesh. The apex court on October 18 had ordered the Centre and the Assam government to transfer Hajela within seven days.
According to Assam government�s legal counsel, the Centre had made a mention before the court of Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SA Bobde and Justice SA Nazeer seeking more time to complete the formalities to transfer Hajela from Assam.
The counsel for the Centre mentioned before the CJI that though the government has taken steps to transfer the 1995 batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, procedural formalities will take some more time.
�You file the application,� the bench directed.
The top court had ordered the inter-cadre transfer of Hajela on deputation to his native state for the maximum possible period. The Supreme Court has already posted the petitions on the Assam NRC for further hearing on November 26.
Hajela, who was under attack from major and smaller regional parties over the NRC exercise, faced threat to his life and had to be provided with security on the orders of the Supreme Court.
His actions as NRC Coordinator were also questioned. The main petitioner Assam Public Works (APW) has, in fact, sought 100 per cent reverfication of the NRC data. The All Assam Students Union (AASU), which had restrained itself so far, also criticised Hajela calling for re-examination of NRC lists.
The BJP was upset over exclusion of large number of Hindu Bengalis, while the Congress and AIUDF were unhappy over exclusion of people belonging to minority community. It was also alleged that a large number of indigenous people did not find their names in the List.
The Supreme Court while transferring out Hajela did not cite any reasons for its action.
Meanwhile, Prabajan Virodhi Manch convenor Upamanyu Hazarika addressing a press conference here today said that leaders who over the last 40 years have built their political career on the foreigners issue are either represented in the government or in the AASU, and none have come forward to take responsibility for the failure of the NRC.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal after publication of the draft NRC proudly claimed that it would be the protective shield for the indigenous people, he said, adding the AASU leaders celebrated by distributing sweets.
�But on realising that the public sentiment is against an NRC full of discrepancies and with inclusion of a large number of foreigners, they have changed their tune. Having assumed leadership on this crucial issue, they ought to have taken the correct path rather than taking credit for what was obviously even then a failed NRC, epitomising the failure of the Assam Movement,� Hazarika said.
�Had the leaders assumed responsibility in its true sense, they would have accepted the failure of the NRC and would have looked for means to retrieve the situation. Today after publication of the final list, the power and the right to reverify rests in the Central government and they would have accordingly taken steps rather than blaming everyone else but themselves,� he added.