HOW AAP GOVERNMENT IS SUBVERTING JUSTICE IN DELHI RIOTS CASES
By Desh Ratan Nigam, Lawyer Supreme Court.
A lawyer speaks in court on the instructions of his client and enjoys his trust as his client knows that his lawyer will protect his interest come what may. These are high standards of professional ethics of legal profession. In order to understand the absolute antithesis of this simple principle one has to scrutinise the happenings in Delhi High Court where many bail applications of the accused in Delhi Riots cases were/are being heard.
The AAP Govt. in 2015 appointed Rahul Mehra, Advocate, co-founder and spokesperson of the AAP party as Standing Counsel(Criminal) in the Delhi High Court and in that capacity has been representing Delhi Police in the Delhi High Court.
Although there were issues since the beginning of the aforesaid appointment, the problems became acute for Delhi Police when the bail applications of various accused of Delhi Riots and those arrested under anti terror law UAPA were being heard. The Delhi Police having lost trust, faith and confidence in the said Standing Counsel requested the Union of India for appointment of Special Public Prosecutor in place of Rahul Mehra to represent it in the Delhi riot cases in Delhi High Court.
But generally the loss of trust by the client in his lawyer is on account of the conduct of lawyer in the court and/or during professional interactions between the two apart from reasons related to fees and so on.
The Union of India accordingly appointed Special Public Prosecutors after due approval of the Delhi Govt. Special Public Prosecutors so appointed were well known lawyers Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, Aman Lekhi ASG, Maninder Acharya ASG and other lawyers as SPP.
The UOI was well within its right to appoint the SPP’s as law & order and Delhi Police is in their exclusive domain in the scheme of distribution of powers for Delhi Govt and so upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2018.However the standing counsel in question opposed the Special Public Prosecutor representing Delhi Police in the Delhi High Court in Delhi riots cases witnessing acrimonious scenes in court. Specific illustrations are:
SG Tushar Mehta’s, representation of Delhi Police was opposed in the matter of bail application of Delhi riots case Faisal Farooq.
ASG Aman Lekhi was opposed in the bail case of accused Safoora Zargar arrested under anti terror law-UAPA.
There was similar obstruction by the said counsel to SPP representing Delhi Police in the case of Delhi Riots accused Aqil Hussain.
And all the opposition to SPP’s was being done despite Delhi Govt’s approval, Supreme Courts judgement of 2018 and section 24 of CrPC and the stand of UOI in court that Central govt has interest in these cases and the standing counsel of Delhi Govt is not the law officer of the Centre apart from the reasons of Delhi Police. Recall at this stage the Delhi Govt malafiedly withheld the permission to Delhi police for filing Chargesheet against Kanhaiya Kumar for a very long time.
The crucial point is that Delhi Police was being forced to be represented by AAP appointed lawyer when Delhi Police did not want him to represent. Clearly the said acts of the standing counsel and his legal wisdom was being coloured and influenced by AAP and their politics of minority appeasement. The AAP Govt through its legal instrumentality converted Delhi High Court into a “Turf War”. This compromised the interest of Delhi Police. A lawyer is supposed to represent his client in letter and spirit and on the instructions of his client failing which such acts become illegal, unethical and immoral with “Conflict of Interest” written in bold letters all over the place ie conflict between the interest of the lawyer and his client.
In such situations a lawyer is expected to disengage himself from such cases which u turn was taken in few earlier cases and also by suddenly disappearing from such cases in subsequent hearings.
The way forward is that the UOI bring about amendment to the law of appointment of Lawyers for agencies of Central govt in Delhi by bringing it under exclusive domain of UOI so as to avoid subversion of legal system as enumerated in this article.
It is only then Judiciary will be able to deliver justice with the able assistance of both the Public Prosecutors and defence counsels failing which people tend to loose faith in the judicial system which till now has ably held the ground.
The Delhi Riots cases are very crucial and important in as much as, the facts and material unearthed so far establish military precision, advanced planning, recce, organisation, command and control structure and elaborate communication system for initiating and continuing ghastly Riots with the involvement of terrorists, international state and non state actors in the garb of anti CAA protests not only in Delhi but in India as well.
The AAP Govt appears to be not very keen that the riots cases are brought to the logical conclusion and guilty be punished with full force of law on account of minority vote bank politics.
The Delhi riot’s harsh reality and dangers being posed to the nation have been vividly brought to the notice of public by many newspaper, media and fact finding committee reports.
The Courts have to lift the veil to see the sinister design and plot of Delhi Riots and not allow anyone else to obstruct justice.
There are sections of unwanted elements in our society who thrive in chaos and process to expose and bring them to justice is ongoing.
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