India

R-Day violence: LG backs Delhi Police demand seeking additional prosecutors, asks Kejriwal govt to decide within week


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LG Baijal backs Delhi Police demand seeking additional prosecutors

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal on Monday wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressing his disagreement at the Home Minister Satyendar Jain turning down Delhi Police’s request for the appointment of special public prosecutors (SPPs) for cases pertaining to Republic Day violence in the national capital.

In a letter to Delhi CM, Baijal urged him to ‘expeditiously’ refer the matter to the Council of Ministers for its consideration and reach a decision “preferably within a week”.

He noted that the Delhi Police has already given a detailed justification for the appointment of 11 Special Public Prosecutors in these matters vide their letter dated February 26.

“These cases are sensitive in nature and require careful handling in a time-bound manner in view of the gravity of the offences and implications for law and order. Therefore, I see no reason why the proposal of Delhi Police submitted vide letter dated February 26 should not be agreed to,” he said.

“Keeping in view the enormity and sensitivity of the matter, I had called the relevant file from the Home Department, GNCTD on March 24, under Rule 19 (5) of the Transaction of Business of the GNCTD Rules, 1993 (TBR’1993 ) for perusal. It was noticed that Minister (Home) has not agreed with the request of Delhi Police despite the justification given by the Delhi Police in the above matters stating that powers of Special Public Prosecutor under MCOCA and other special Acts have already been conferred upon each of the regular Additional Public Prosecutors of Directorate of Prosecution attached with Special Courts/Designated Courts and Regular Additional Public Prosecutor of the said Court is competent enough to attend the cases relating to farmers’ agitation,’ the LG said.

Baijal also complained about Jain’s office rescheduling the meeting to discuss the matter multiple times before finally meeting on June 1.

“On July 1, I had a discussion with the Minister (Home) at 12:30 pm through a video conference to settle the above points of difference. However, the differences in the above matter could not be resolved. I have also received his note dated July 1, pointing out that the Special Public Prosecutors should not be appointed on the request of Delhi Police,” he noted.

The LG opined, “No doubt, the Public Prosecutor represents the state by the virtue of his/her office, he/she is also an officer of the court and is required to render assistance to the court in arriving at a just and equitable decision… Therefore, there is no reason to suspect that the Special Public Prosecutors wouldn’t perform their duty fearlessly and impartially as officers of the court.”

Meanwhile, the senior officers present in the meeting between the LG and Jain on June 1 said that apart from earlier disagreement on file, the LG “clearly and categorically expressed his disagreement at Home Minister’s turning down of the valid request of the Delhi Police for appointment of Spl Public Prosecutors”. 

(With ANI inputs)

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