NEW DELHI – Lt Governor Anil Baijal has reversed the Delhi cabinet’s decision to reject the Delhi Police’s panel of lawyers for the riots cases in the High Court and the Supreme Court, the city government said on Thursday.
“The decision of the Delhi government’s cabinet on Tuesday to appoint a panel of lawyers in the Supreme Court and High Court for the Delhi riots has been rejected by Lt. Governor Anil Baijal. The Lt Governor did this by using exclusive authority from the Constitution. Also, the Home Department of the Government of Delhi has been ordered to approve the panel of Delhi Police,” a government statement said.
The Delhi cabinet was of the view that the investigation of Delhi Police in connection with the riots was not considered fair by the court, and, in such a situation, a fair trial of the case is not possible with the approval of the police’s panel.
The statement said that the Lt Governor rejected the cabinet decision, by exercising the authority found under the Constitution’s Article 239 (AA) (4). “At the same time, under the authority obtained from this article, the Delhi government has issued an interim order to approve the panel of Delhi Police,” it added.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the cabinet rejected the Delhi Police’s proposal, and the suggestion of the Lt Governor, on the panel of lawyers, the statement said, adding that the cabinet believed that the fundamental principle of criminal justice is that investigation should be completely independent of prosecution. “The Delhi Police has been the investigating agency of the Delhi riots in such a way that the approval of their panel of lawyers can raise questions on fairness,” it said.
The Lt Governor’s office has not yet reacted to the statement.