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Riots Case: BJP Condemns Delhi Govt's Rejection of Lawyer Panel Proposed by Police

2 months ago 13
File photo of security forces patrolling a riot-affected area following clashes in Northeast Delhi in February. (Reuters)

File photo of security forces patrolling a riot-affected area following clashes in Northeast Delhi in February. (Reuters)

The AAP government rejected the panel of lawyers proposed by the Delhi Police, saying it would not help a "free and fair" trial of the February riots.

PTI Last Updated: July 28, 2020, 11:03 PM IST

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The BJP on Tuesday condemned the Delhi government's decision to reject a panel of lawyers suggested by the city police for trial of the northeast Delhi riots case, alleging it wanted to protect the accused having links with the ruling AAP.

The AAP government rejected the panel of lawyers proposed by the Delhi Police, saying it would not help a "free and fair" trial of the February riots.

"Rejecting the Delhi Police's lawyers panel, the Delhi government has shown that it is prepared to go to any extent to protect the riots accused including its leaders," Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta claimed in a statement.

No immediate reaction was available from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the charges.

The Delhi BJP unit "condemns" the Arvind Kejriwal government for rejecting Lt Governor Anil Baijal's advice to allow the Delhi Police preferred panel of advocates to prosecute the riots culprits, party spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said.

"This rejection has confirmed that the Kejriwal government wants to protect the main accused and its councillor Tahir Hussain by appointing its own prosecutors," he alleged.

Hussain, who was suspended from the AAP, is one of the main accused in the case.

Communal clashes had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 after violence between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.

The Delhi Cabinet rejected the panel proposed by the city police, observing that the courts have raised "serious questions" on the "fairness" of the investigation in the riot cases, the city government said in a statement.

"The Cabinet also observed that in such a situation a free and fair trial of these cases would not be possible by a panel of lawyers selected by the Delhi police itself," it said.

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