Rejecting census work can cause state government personnel to have 3 years in jail

NEW DELHI: The staff of the state government and local agencies responsible for assisting the Census Commissioner and the General Registrar of the Citizen Registry, in the conduct of the Census and NPR The exercise, respectively, is bound by the Indian Census Law and the Rules of Citizenship to serve accordingly, government sources said Friday.

An officer underlined that it is mandatory for government staff drafted under the Census of India Act and Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, which provides for preparation of a (NPR), to carry out their assigned duties of collecting the database for census and NPR exercises. This is applicable both to enumerators tasked with houselisting phase, who will simultaneously capture NPR data, as well as census officers.

According to the Census of India rules, state governments and UT administrations, to carry out the census within their jurisdiction, must designate officers that include the census official (district magistrates), the census officer of district and sub-district, supervisor and enumerator.

Section 11 of the Census of India Act lays down penalties - imprisonment up to three years and/or fine - for government or any other staff declining to aid in conduct of census. Similarly any refusal to perform NPR duty may invite up to Rs 1,000 fine under Rule 17 of Citizenship Rules, 2003. The errant staff may also face disciplinary action, said an officer.

Given that NPR is to be carried out alongside houselisting phase of Census 2021 from April to September this year, the teachers and other staff drafted as enumerators have to make themselves available for collecting data for both the exercises. This will be the case in West Bengal as well, even though the state administration claims to have put the NPR process there on hold.

Section 4 (2) of the India Census Act of 1948 states that the state government may designate persons as census officers to take, assist or supervise the taking of the census within any specific local area and such persons, when If appointed, you will be required to serve accordingly. Similarly, Rule 5 of the 2003 Rules of Citizenship states that all central government and state government officials will assist the General Registrar of Citizens Registration in the preparation of the database.