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L-G's veto on lawyer decision 'misuse of power', says Sisodia

L-Gs veto on lawyer decision misuse of power, says Sisodia
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New Delhi: In what appears to be fresh signs of a tussle between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal yet again, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said that the L-G's decision to veto the Delhi Cabinet's rejection of Delhi Police's lawyers in the north-east Delhi riots cases amounted to a "misuse of power".

While acknowledging the fact that the L-G's office had been bestowed with special powers under the Constitution to veto the Cabinet's decision, Sisodia said it was to be used in rare cases. He said, "Lieutenant Governor has the power but the Supreme Court has said that it should be used in the rarest of rare cases. Choice of advocates to fight the northeast Delhi violence case shows misuse of power."

The heat over who is to represent Delhi Police in 85 riots related cases in the High Court and Supreme Court moved a notch higher after the Delhi Cabinet rejected the police's chosen panel of lawyers in Tuesday's Cabinet's meeting. The ministers had held that adverse remarks from courts had raised serious questions on Delhi Police's ability to conduct a free and fair investigation in the riots cases. A statement from the Delhi government had said it would not prudent to let the investigating agency have control over the choice of prosecutors under these circumstances.

This panel of lawyers had included Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, ASG Aman Lekhi and other lawyers and had been approved by L-G Baijal. However, two days after the Cabinet decided that the Home Department would appoint a panel of prosecutors for these cases, the L-G had invoked powers under Article 239AA(4) to refer the dispute to the President and order the Home Department to temporarily approve this panel of lawyers.

Interestingly, the Delhi government had also cited remarks made by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait of the high court to say that Delhi Police was taking the entire judiciary on a joyride in the riots cases.

But Sisodia's remarks on Friday comes after, bound by the Constitution, the Delhi government followed the L-G's orders and approved the appointment of the panel of lawyers suggested by the Delhi Police for these 85 cases.

Meanwhile, the Education Minister also slammed the new National Education Policy, saying that its vision of all colleges and institutes being multidisciplinary would be detrimental. "Let IIT deal with engineering, IIM with management, AIIMS with medical & FTII with acting. Dilution of such big institutes will not be good for the talent of the country," he said.

Sisodia also held an interactive session with teachers and parents at SKV School in Chirag area to review online and semi-online classes. Fourth so far, such sessions are planned in all 11 districts of the Capital.

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