The officials in charge of the Assam citizens’ list was pulled up by the Supreme Court today for speaking out of turn to the media, holding out hope for the 40 lakh people left out of the list. Questioning “on whose authority” coordinator Prateek Hajela made the statements, the upset court said they should be “sent to jail” and were only being spared because they have a “big job to do”.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Mr 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), the report had said.
Holding up a copy of the daily, the court said, “Your job is to prepare the final National Register of Citizens and not to go to the Press holding brief for anybody”. The court also warned officials against speaking to the media in the future and said they would need court permission to do so.