Accord highest priority to NRC work, SC to Dispur

'EC directive for transfer of officials completing 3 years at a particular place not applicable'

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Jan 13: Government officials engaged in the exercise to update the tiol Register of Citizens (NRC), may be allotted election-related work, but the NRC work should be accorded top-most priority and it should not be affected in any manner, the Supreme Court has said.

The order came on a petition filed by the Assam government seeking permission to allot poll-related work to 25,000 officials of the total 41,000 engaged in the mammoth NRC update exercise.

A division bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N Fali riman also ruled that the directive of the Election Commission of India to transfer officials who have completed three years of service at a particular place will not be applicable for the time being. The apex court directed the Government of Assam to hold the transfer orders for some months, petitioner and Assam Public Works president Abhijeet Sharma, who was present during the hearing, said.

NRC coorditor Prateek Hazela told the apex court that he will try his best to complete the draft NRC by March 31. He apprised the court that currently the verification of the applicants is being conducted.  "A huge numbers of documents received - such as PAN card, passport, birth certificates etc - have been issued in neighbouring States like Tripura, Meghalaya, Aruchal Pradesh, West Bengal and galand. Mainly, there are a lot of birth certificates which were issued in galand," Hazela told the court.

He said he was in touch with all offices of the States concerned for verification of the documents.

The court fixed February 17 as the next date of hearing.

AASU advisor Sammujal Bhattacharya and president Dipanka Kumar th, who were also present at the hearing, said the apex court wants the State government to accord top-most priority to the NRC work.

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