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SC issues contempt notice to APW president
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, Sept 12 - Taking cognizance of media reports casting aspersions on the conduct of Assam Coordinator for National Register of Citizens (NRC) Prateek Hajela, the Supreme Court today issued a contempt notice to Assam Public Works (APW) president Aabhijeet Sarmah which is returnable within four weeks.An apex court bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F Nariman took cognizance of a report submitted by Hajela, who quoted media reports about allegations levelled by Sarmah against his conduct. The Supreme Court also asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to assist the court. Sarmah was asked to show cause as to why he called a press conference levelling allegations against Hajela.

Later, talking to this newspaper, Sarmah said that he would submit before the Supreme Court all the documents he has, including those which he had submitted to the Central Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. “Indirectly, the court has given me a chance to prove my point,” he stressed.

The apex court also directed the Centre to suggest a name to replace former Home Secretary GK Pillai as the chairperson of a committee to oversee the fencing work on the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its communication to the court said there were “some issues” with the name of Pillai.

“We have perused the communication dated August 10 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Border Management, Government of India which has been placed before the court in a sealed cover by the Solicitor General.

“We request the Solicitor General to suggest another name in place of GK Pillai, former Home Secretary, to act as the Chairperson of the Committee for overseeing the fencing work,” the bench of Justices Gogoi and Nariman said.

The apex court was hearing a matter relating to the fencing of the Indo-Bangla border.

On July 31, the apex court had constituted a committee comprising Pillai, former Director General of Border Security Force DK Pathak and former professor of Gauhati University Abdul Mannan, subject to their consent.

It had directed Centre to issue a notification setting up the panel which would submit its report in three months.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar had submitted the report of MHA, Department of Border Management, in a sealed cover to the court and said there were “some issues” with regard to one name, without naming Pillai.

The bench, after perusing the report of ministry, had passed the order.

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