The Delhi Government in its cabinet meeting today rejected the panel of lawyers suggested by the Delhi Police in the matter of appointment of a panel of lawyers in the Supreme Court and High Court for cases related to riots in north-east Delhi.
The Cabinet observed that “the courts have already raised serious questions on the fairness of investigations done by the Delhi Police in the riot cases.”
“…in such a situation a free and fair trial of these cases would not be possible by a panel of lawyers selected by the Delhi Police itself” it added.
The Cabinet has also observed that in such a situation a free and fair trial of these cases would not be possible by a panel of lawyers selected by the Delhi Police itself. Keeping in mind the principles of criminal justice system and the need to ensure independence between investigation and prosecution, the Delhi Cabinet has directed the Home Department to form an impartial panel of the best possible lawyers in the country for the cases related to the Delhi riots.
The Delhi police had written to L-G Anil Baijal over the appointment of six senior advocates who would argue the case on its behalf. The L-G sent the letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to decide on it. The letter reportedly stated: “Since the difference of opinion 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.”
The names suggested by the Delhi Police included Tushar Mehta and Aman Lekhi as Special Counsel in the High Court and Supreme Court in 85 cases related to the North East riots and anti CAA Protests.
-India Legal Bureau
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