NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to extend the deadline for the publication of the final Assam NRC beyond July 31 and asked the Election Commission, state chief secretary and the NRC coordinator to coordinate to ensure enough officers are available for NRC work during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“We are of the view that, in no circumstances, the publication of the final NRC should be stretched beyond July 31, 2019,” a Special Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F Nariman said after Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela said it may be delayed due to the polls.
The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to organise the meeting between the three bodies and submit a report within a week and posted the matter for further hearing on February 5.
Noting that the elections and NRC work were equally important, the bench said, “Insofar as the deployment of government staff, currently engaged in NRC work, for election duty is concerned we are of the view that both the processes i.e. the preparation of final NRC and the election should receive equal importance and proceeded with simultaneously ...”
Earlier, Hajela told the Bench that he may need additional staff to complete the task by July 31.