As the row between Central Government and Delhi Government over who would represent Delhi Police continued, the Delhi High Court today vacated its order staying the bail granted to Delhi Riots accused, Faisal Farooq.The case pertains to the challenge to the bail granted to a Delhi riots accused, Faisal Farooq.
Farooq was represented by Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta in Delhi Riots case.
The challenge to the bail order was taken up by the Court for the first time, both Delhi Government Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had entered appearance. Mehta claimed that he was under instructions from the Central Government to file the present petition and also appear before the High Court, Mehra argued that Central Government had no power to file the petition against order.
Additional Solitcitor General Aman Lekhi placed befor the Court a communication dated July 1, 2020, from the Office of Deputy Secretary, Home Department to the DCP (legal), Delhi Police stating that the names of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan and Advocate Rajat Nair had been cleared to file petitions and to appear in Delhi riots cases.
Mehra stated that the unilateral appointment of special prosecutors was impermissible in the light of the three judgments that were passed in the Delhi vs Centre cases, including the 2018 judgment of the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court.
ASG Lekhi broadly argued that the series of judgments passed in Delhi vs Centre cases would not be applicable to the present case as they specifically dealt with the power of the State Government to appoint public prosecutor under Section 24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
He inter alia argued that as a client, the Delhi Police had a “constitutionally sanctioned” right to choose who would represent it.The submissions were vehemently opposed by Standing Counsel Mehra as he contended that what cannot be done directly, cannot be done indirectly either. Mehra stated that the issue of who would represent Delhi Police was res integra. He argued that if the stand of ASG Lkehi was accepted, “CrPC would be flown to the wind”.
While the Court initially expressed its inclination to refer the issue to an appropriate Bench for adjudication, it ultimately directed the parties to file their submissions on the issue of appointment of special counsel and listed the matter for further arguments.
Since the accused is already in custody in another matter, the earlier order staying bail was vacated.
The matter would be heard next on July 22.