The Supreme Court transferred the Assam co-ordinator of the National Register of Citizens Prateek Hajela to Madhya Pradesh due to a threat to life.
The court has asked the government to let know the transfer within seven days. At the hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal asked Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi if there was a reason for the transfer, to which the CJI responded: “is there a transfer without a reason?”.
Mr Hajela, 48, a 1995 batch IAS officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, was tasked with supervising the massive exercise of revising the citizen’s list in Assam, a complex project that has navigated controversies related to communal and linguistic divides.
He was seen as an able technocrat who could best tackle the job. He led a team of over 50,000 officials. An IIT alumnus, he faced criticism from political parties as well as civil society organisations over alleged errors in the citizen’s list.
The strongest critics included leaders of the ruling BJP, who alleged that many Hindus, who are genuine citizens, are missing in the revised list. Last month, a Muslim organisation filed a case against Mr Hajela, accusing him of excluding “genuine Indian citizens” from the NRC and acting out of bias.