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LG Overturns Govt’s Rejection of Lawyer Panel Chosen by Delhi Cops

L-G used his special powers under Article 239A(4) citing “differences of opinion” with the government.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been at loggerheads with incumbent L-G Anil Baijal and his predecessor Najeeb Jung.
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Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday, 30 July overruled the decision taken by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Cabinet over the appointment of a panel of advocates to represent the Delhi Police in cases related to the northeast Delhi riots.

What Is the Issue?

On 10 July, the Delhi Police had proposed the names of six special public prosecutors to argue 85 cases related to the northeast Delhi riots and anti-CAA protests. The Arvind Kejriwal’s Cabinet rejected this panel of lawyers.

The Aam Aadmi Party on 19 July had alleged that the Delhi violence, which killed 53 people in February, was "engineered" by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It questioned why the BJP was so “desperate to engage them in the riots case.”

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What Happens Now?

The L-G has used his special powers under Article 239A(4) of the Indian Constitution, citing “differences of opinion” with the elected government.

“The L-G invoked special powers granted to him under the Constitution. The Home Department has been ordered to approve the panel chosen by the Delhi Police. The Delhi government will now have to implement the order at any cost as it is mandated by the Constitution,” a CM office statement said.

Why Did the Delhi Government Reject the Panel in the First Place?

The Aam Aadmi Party government on Tuesday expressed displeasure with the six names, and urged the Home Department to appoint the best lawyers for a “fair and impartial trail.”

The Cabinet had rejected the panel stating “there have been allegations that the investigations of Delhi Police in these cases are biased and not impartial. The judiciary has also made adverse remarks against Delhi Police investigations on several occasions. Therefore, in order to ensure that all facts are presented before the Hon’ble judges, it is extremely critical that the government advocates are independent of the Police,” The Indian Express reported.

“It is not right to have lawyers suggested by police. We want punishment for all culprits but no innocent should get punished,” said Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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