Centre's interference in Delhi govt's work through LG murder of democracy: Sisodia

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New Delhi, Jul 16 (PTI) Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday alleged that the Centre has been interfering with the work of the Delhi government through the lieutenant governor, and described it as 'murder of democracy'.

He also said the L-G should stop 'misusing the veto power' granted under the Constitution.

The AAP government has rejected the Delhi Police's proposal to set up a panel of public prosecutors to argue cases related to violence during a tractor rally by farmers on January 26, setting the stage for a fresh round of confrontation with the Centre and the L-G office.

Sources said Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is likely to invoke special powers granted to him in the Constitution and approve a panel of lawyers chosen by the Delhi Police.

At an online press conference, Sisodia said the Delhi government has decided that its panel of lawyers will be public prosecutors in court matters related to the farmers' protest.

'The appointment of lawyers comes under the purview of the Delhi government. According to the Constitution, the LG has a veto power to give opinions and advice but does not have the right to declare what the Delhi government should do.

'The Supreme Court has defined the use of this veto power by the LG. Doorstep delivery of ration and court matters related to farmers' protests are not the rarest of rare cases. This power cannot be used left, right and centre. This is a murder of democracy,' he said.

The deputy chief minister said the people of Delhi have chosen Arvind Kejriwal as their elected leader. 'So let him do the good work, don't act as an obstructionist,' he said.

'The L-G should stop exercising the veto power thrice a day against every good step of the Delhi government.' In July last year, Lt Governor Baijal had overturned the AAP government's decision to reject the Delhi Police's panel of lawyers to argue the 2020 northeast Delhi riot cases in the high court and the Supreme Court.

According to a Delhi government official, the cabinet's decision to reject the city police's proposal to argue the farmers' protest cases will be conveyed to the L-G.

'It was decided that the Delhi government's lawyers will be public prosecutors in court matters related to the farmers' agitation,' the official said.

However, sources said that LG is likely to invoke his special power under the Constitution and refer the dispute to the president of India.

On Thursday, the Delhi government had alleged that it was being pressured by the BJP-ruled Centre to replace its prosecutors appearing in cases related to the anti-farm laws stir, with those of the Delhi Police.

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

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