The Supreme Court has strongly reprimanded Assam’s National Register of Citizens coordinator and the Registrar General of India for their statements on the issue, saying it could have sent them to jail for contempt, and restrained them from speaking to media in future without its approval.
A bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman termed as “most unfortunate” the statements made by Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela and RGI Sailesh to media on the issue of dealing with claims and objections of those who have been left out in the draft NRC.
“Are you in any manner concerned with the claims and objections to be made… What have you said in newspapers and tell us how are you concerned with that,” a visibly angry Justice Gogoi told the officials and asked them to read the news reports in the court.
“Don’t forget, you are the officers of the court. Your job is to comply with our directions. How can you go to press like this,” the bench said adding that, it could have sent both of them to jail.
Questioning the authority of the officials, the bench reprimanded them and restrained them from going to media in future on the NRC issue.
The bench said that it had asked the Centre to formulate standard operating procedures to deal with the claims and objections of those who have been left out in the draft NRC and accused the officials of making statements on modalities which squarely fell in its domain.