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HC grants more time to Centre to file reply on Delhi govt plea against Police's chosen lawyers

ANI | Updated: Nov 26, 2021 12:42 IST

New Delhi [India], November 26 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday granted more time to the Centre and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to file a response on Delhi Government plea challenging the decision, allowing Delhi Police's chosen lawyers as Special Public Prosecutors (SPP) for cases related to North-East Delhi violence and farmers protest.
The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Friday adjourned the matter for January 22, 2022.
Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra appeared for the Delhi government in the matter and requested the court to direct the respondents to file a response in the matter as soon as possible.
The Petition of Delhi Government stated that the orders of LG dated 23.07.2021 and MHA 04.08.2021 by which Special Public Prosecutors ("SPP") have been appointed for prosecuting the cases relating to Farmers' agitation and Delhi Riots/Anti-CAA protests. These SPPs appointed have been chosen by the Delhi Police and thus have a serious conflict of interest.

The SPPs are taking charge of the matters by displacing the regular public prosecutors and therefore, urgent directions are required from the Court to enable the regular public prosecutors to continue so as to not jeopardise fair trial in the said cases.
The plea submitted that the 'difference of opinion' and consequent referral thereof to the President by LG is in the teeth of Article 239AA(4) as interpreted by the Supreme Court in as much as 'appointment of SPPs' is a routine matter and not an exceptional matter for which reference to the President can be made and LG had no sound reason for referring the matter to the President when the Petitioner had agreed to appoint independent SPPs, plea added.
The appointment of the SPPs chosen by the Delhi Police in the present case will seriously jeopardise the fair trial in the cases related to farmers' agitation and North-East Delhi Riots/Anti-CAA protests. LG'sbelief that the SPPs chosen by the Delhi Police will act independently is merely wishful thinking, and has no basis in fact or logic, plea added.
In the present case, neither the Delhi Police nor LG has complaints against the work of the regular public prosecutors in conducting the cases related to the farmers' agitation and northeast Delhi riots. There are also no complaints that the cases are being delayed due to an inadequate number of public prosecutors. Thus, there existed no reason for the Delhi police to seek an appointment of SPPs or LG to approve the same, plea read.
The appointment of special public prosecutors (SPPs) for cases pertaining to the North East Delhi violence and Farmers protest has emerged as the new sticking point between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. (ANI)