Riots case: Decide on police's request for lawyers in 7 days, L-G to govt

The Delhi Police has proposed to appoint six senior advocates to argue on its behalf in 85 cases of riots in Northeast Delhi

Citing difference of opinion with the AAP dispensation, Lt Governor Anil Baijal has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to decide within a week on the Delhi Police's proposal to appoint six senior advocates for arguing on its behalf in cases related to riots and anti-CAA protests.

Baijal, in his letter to Kejriwal, said that acting Home Minister Manish Sisodia did not agree to the Delhi Police proposal despite the force providing detailed justification for it.

The Delhi Police has proposed to appoint six senior advocates to argue on its behalf in 85 cases of riots in Northeast Delhi and assign 24 cases of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to special public prosecutors, sources said.

The lieutenant governor said that he had called the file pertaining to the matter for perusal on July 14 under Rule of 19 (5) of the Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), the sources said.

Baijal said that he had requested the home minister to reconsider his decision and agree to the proposal of the Delhi Police.

Sources said that there was a meeting between Baijal and Sisodia through video conference on Friday to settle the difference of opinion, but the matter could not be resolved.

"Since the difference of opinion still persists, I would request the chief minister to expeditiously refer the matter to the Council of Ministers under Rule 49 of TBR of GNCTD, 1992 with Section 45 (c) of the Government of NCT Act, 1991.

"In view of urgency and sensitivity of matter, it is requested that the decision of Cabinet be communicated expeditiously, preferably within a week," a source quoted Baijal as having said in the letter.

Sources also said that if the Delhi Cabinet doesn't agree with the Delhi Police's request, the L-G will have an option to invoke his special powers under the provisions of Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution.

The first round of confrontation between the AAP dispensation and the L-G's office had emerged in June over the appointment of 11 special public prosecutors to argue cases pertaining to the communal riots in northeast Delhi in February.

When the Delhi government had rejected the police's request on the issue, the L-G had invoked the power under Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution.

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