Prepare error-free list of citizens, SC tells NRC coordinator

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Hajela to focus on an error-free final NRC, instead of giving interviews to the media.

The bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman warned Hajela and Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (RGCC) Shailesh, to be "cautious in future". Hajela had told the media that any valid document would be accepted as proof of citizenship during the hearing on complaints by those left out in the draft NRC.

Taking suo motu cognizance of Hajela's interview to a national daily, Justice Gogoi said: "Where is the necessity, scope and authority in you to make such a statement? Your job is to carry on with the draft and prepare the final NRC."

The court told Hajela that he was first an officer of the court and should not have spoken to media about the NRC.

"It is most unfortunate on your part as well as the RGCC. Your job is to prepare the final NRC. Your job is not to go to press holding brief for somebody," the bench said.

The court reminded RGCC Shailesh that on an earlier occasion too he was warned by the court on his actions vis-a-vis preparation of the NRC.