Riots: Baijal may clear appointment of spl prosecutors

Riots cases: Baijal likely to clear appointment of spl public prosecutors suggested by Delhi Police

 Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is likely to approve the appointment of special public prosecutors suggested by the Delhi Police for representing it in cases related to the northeast Delhi riots, sources said on Thursday.

The move may set the stage for a fresh confrontation between the AAP government and the L-G office as the Delhi Cabinet on Thursday appeared to have agreed on a list of public prosecutors picked by the government.

While the AAP government insisted that it has the power to appoint special public prosecutors, sources said that the lieutenant governor's opinion will prevail upon invoking Article 239AA(4) in case of difference of opinion between the two sides on the issue.

Sources said that according to orders by the Delhi High Court in 2016 as well as the Supreme Court in 2018, the L-G is the competent authority to appoint special public prosecutors on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

"If there is difference of opinion between the L-G and ministers, he is, however, not bound by the said aid and advice and can invoke the proviso of Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution," one of the sources said.

Both the AAP government and the L-G office did not offer any reaction on the matter.

Sources said that in April, the Delhi Police had sent a list of special public prosecutors to represent it in the northeast Delhi communal riots-related cases to the AAP government.

However, the Delhi government did not agree with the police's choice and the AAP dispensation sent a new list to the force on April 16, sources said.

In his note on May 17, Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain had mentioned that the city government has power to appoint special public prosecutors in accordance with the orders by the high court in 2016 and the apex court in 2018, sources said.

Earlier this month, two senior law officers were engaged in a tussle in the Delhi High Court over who would represent the Delhi Police in a case.

Appointment of SPPs has always been a contentious issue between the Delhi government and the office of lieutenant governor. 

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