Centre putting pressure to replace prosecutors for cases related to anti-farm laws stir: Delhi govt

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New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) The Delhi government has accused the BJP-ruled Centre of putting pressure on it to replace its prosecutors appearing in cases related to the anti-farm laws stir with those of the Delhi Police, saying a call on the issue will be taken at a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal has 'rejected' the panel of Delhi government lawyers appearing in the cases against the farmers protesting against the Centre's three new farm laws at the city's borders, a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said.

Sources privy to the development claimed that the issue concerns a 'request made by the Delhi Police for the appointment of special public prosecutors for the cases related to violence, disrespect of the national flag and blatant disregard of the rule of law on Republic Day during a tractor rally taken out by the protesting farmers in the national capital.

'It has nothing to do with the farmers' protest as is being deliberately made out with ulterior motives,' they claimed.

The Delhi cabinet is likely to 'reject' the LG's recommendation for special public prosecutors of the Delhi Police, the sources said.

'The central government has come in the open against the accused farmers of the anti-farm laws stir. The LG has stopped the Delhi government lawyers from fighting cases.

'The Centre is putting pressure on the (Arvind) Kejriwal government for replacing the lawyers of the state with its own to fight the cases against the accused farmers protesting against the farm laws,' the statement from the CMO said.

The city government had formed a panel of lawyers for an 'impartial' hearing of the cases against the farmers, it added.

'Delhi Police investigating the cases, however, wants the appointment of its own panel of lawyers. Law Minister Satyendar Jain had rejected the Delhi Police proposal but now, the LG has put pressure on the Delhi government to call its cabinet meeting for a decision on the Delhi Police panel,' the statement said.

It claimed that the LG, at a virtual meeting with Jain, had 'admitted' that the public prosecutors of the Delhi government were doing a 'good' job and fighting the cases efficiently.

The sources said Baijal wrote to Chief Minister Kejriwal on July 2, informing him that the differences in the matter could not be resolved at his meeting with Jain.

'There is no reason to suspect that the special public prosecutors would not perform their duty fearlessly and impartially as officers of the court,' Baijal was quoted as saying in the letter.

He had asked the chief minister to expeditiously refer the matter to the Council of Ministers for its consideration and decision, the sources said.

'Keeping in view that the matter has already been delayed inordinately, it is requested that the decision of the Council of Ministers be communicated expeditiously, preferably within a week,' Baijal had said in his letter to Kejriwal.

The Delhi Police had registered over 40 cases in connection with the Republic Day (January 26) violence and vandalism. PTI VIT RC

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