Lok Sabha Election 2019

Election Commission won’t disturb staff involved in NRC work: Assam coordinator to Supreme Court

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Appearing before a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, Assam National Register of Citizens Coordinator Prateek Hajela submitted that the NRC work would not be stopped or delayed during the Lok Sabha election.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday recorded the submissions made by Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) Coordinator Prateek Hajela that the Election Commission has agreed to not withdraw personnel involved in the NRC work.

Appearing before a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, Mr. Hajela submitted that the NRC work would not be stopped or delayed during the Lok Sabha election.

He said there would be “enough personnel” to carry on the NRC work unabated. The poll would not serve as an obstruction.

Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal, for the government, informed the court about the circular issued by the Union Home Secretary notifying that 167 companies of combined armed police forces would continue to secure the ongoing NRC process in Assam.

The court had come down heavily on the government in the previous hearing on February 5 when the latter said the 167 companies need to be pulled out of Assam and stationed across the country for poll work. The court had responded to this by accusing the government of trying to “destroy the NRC process.” Justice Gogoi had said the NRC was as important as the elections and both need to be conducted simultaneously.

During the hearing, Mr. Hajela, however, told the court that there would be need to increase the manpower for NRC work after the Lok Sabha election. This would be necessary to complete the finalisation and publication of the Assam NRC by July 31, 2019, the deadline set by the court.

“All our concern is that you complete it by July 31. How you do it is not our concern,” Justice Gogoi responded.

The court said it was scheduling at least one hearing in the NRC case every month to take stock of the progress. It scheduled the next hearing for April 10.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:31:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/election-commission-wont-disturb-staff-involved-in-nrc-work-assam-coordinator-to-supreme-court/article26525109.ece

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