New Delhi, March 6, 2020-
The never-ending tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government was in full display once again inside the high court over representation of the police force in court.
The debate led to a heated argument between Senior Standing Counsel (Criminal) Rahul Mehra and Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya when the former submitted that he is the designated counsel to represent Delhi Police in the case.
Mehra alleged that he has not been issued any written intimation in this regard. “I deserve this much dignity. If you route it through my office, I would cooperate. In three cases, I withdrew on request.”
Following which, ASG commented, “He has a bit of a politician in him.”
Objecting strongly to the statements made by the ASG, Mehra replied, “I am an officer of the court. I won’t take such statements. ASG should take back her words.”
Soon after that, the bench asked the two lawyers to calm down and said, “Put your house in order by the next date of hearing.”
The exchange took place while a Division Bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar was hearing a batch of petitions related to the Delhi riots.
On February 27, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal appointed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Kaur Acharya and few others to represent Delhi Police in the matters relating to the violence that erupted on February 23.
A letter to DCP Legal Cell of the city police from the Home Department read, “I am directed to convey the approval of Hon’ble Lt. Governor, Delhi for the appointment of Sh. Tushar Mehta, SG, Ms. Maninder Kaur Acharya, ASG, Sh. Amit Mahajan, Advocate and Sh. Rajat Nair, Advocate in W.P.(Crl.) /2020, to represent Delhi Police in the above titled case & in all other matters arising out of Law and Order situation in the area of North East, Shahdara and East District of Delhi 23.02.2020 onwards.”
The death toll in the violence in northeast Delhi has risen to 53 even though normalcy is returning. (Agency)