Respect Democracy: Kejriwal, as L-G Rejects Lawyers Picked for Farmers' Cases

Kejriwal took to Twitter to express his disdain at the Lieutenant Governor's decision on Saturday, 24 July.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Delhi CM called the Lieutenant Governor's decision an 'insult to the people of Delhi'.</p></div>

After Lieutenant Governer Anil Baijal rejected a panel of lawyers that the city government had picked for cases against farmers who are protesting the three farm laws, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal remarked on the decision, calling it 'an insult to the people of Delhi' on Saturday, 24 July.

Asking Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to respect democracy, Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi adding that the people of Delhi had chosen Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to lead them by a historic majority.

Rejecting the panel of lawyers made by the Delhi Government, Lt Governor Baijal approved a team selected by the Delhi Police, which would report to the Centre's BJP-led government, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

LG Anil Baijal sent the file to the President of India due to a difference in opinion on the issue. This marks the first time the L-G has referred a case to the President since the GNCTD Act came into force.


Farmers also have the right to a fair trial

Delhi's Kejriwal-led government rejected the Delhi Police’s request to the state’s Home department, wherein they had asked for 11 lawyers to be appointed as special public prosecutors (SPPs) to deal with all legal proceedings related to farmers regarding the Republic Day agitations.

The Cabinet reached a consensus that appointing police-recommended lawyers may hamper legal parity and would not give the farmers an unbiased trial.

AAP's cabinet had decided on a team of lawyers to fight as public prosecutors for cases filed against the protesting farmers over the violence and vandalism that took place on 26 January, when parts of a rally organised by them strayed off the pre-decided routes.

Previously, the government had also rejected three lawyers recommended by Delhi Police for the northeast Delhi riots case which led to 53 deaths and left over 600 injured.

Baijal, citing his powers under Article 239A of the Constitution, approved the panel of 11 lawyers suggested by the Delhi Police.

Quoting the LG’s order, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said, “In exercise of the powers conferred in provisions of Article 239A of the Constitution, I (LG) hereby direct that 11 law officers, advocates as suggested by the Delhi police be appointed.”

"Refer a matter to the President only in extraordinary circumstances"

Sisodia explained that the Supreme Court’s order had clearly stated that the LG in Delhi would have two powers – to either agree with the government’s decision or if he disagrees, to send his disagreement to the President.

“The Supreme Court had also said in its order that the LG has been given the power to refer a matter to the President only in extraordinary circumstances and not in every case,” Sisodia told PTI.

Meanwhile, farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws on 22 July, agitated at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, pressing their demand for the scrapping of the laws. A kisan sansad (farmers' Parliament) was also organised at Jantar Mantar. According to Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, it 'was completely disciplined and orderly', even as the Delhi Police, they claimed, attempted to 'stifle democracy'.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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