Fight of a Democrat Against Authoritarian Rule

Fight of a Democrat Against Authoritarian Rule

“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”

It is widely known that Delhi Police made a spectacle of themselves not only at the time of the Delhi riots but also in its investigations. Several times, expressing disappointment at the Delhi Police, Delhi High Court and Supreme Court of India rebuked them.

Currently, for filing a separate petition seeking a cancellation of the bail granted to Faisal Farooq in connection with Delhi riots,  Justice Suresh Kumar Kait said that the Delhi Police was “misusing the judicial system” and taking the “system for a ride”.

Delhi CM Kejriwal’s groundwork on social issues like education, health, electricity, water supply etc. are evident but in the current situation, his fight for providing justice to the victims of Delhi riots manifests his democratic responsibility.

In a recent development, the Delhi government refuses to entertain a proposal that is sent by Delhi Police to appoint six senior lawyers, having names of Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General AmanLekhi, as special public prosecutors in 85 cases related to Delhi riots which held in late February this year.

The government in an official statement said that they refused this  proposal because the courts have raised “serious questions” on the “fairness” of the investigation in the riot cases.

This decision starts a fresh scuffle with lieutenant governor of Delhi as LG had already suggested the government to approve the panel chosen by police. However, no reaction is given by LG yet.

But as Delhi Police reports to union Home Ministry it can be anticipated that the government’s decision gives a chance to Lt Governor Anil Baijal to invoke Article 239AA(4), a constitutional provision that empowers him to refer any matter to the President of India over which there are “differences of opinion” with the elected government.

The tussle between LG and CM of Delhi is not new as in 2017 a plea was registered on  who enjoyed supremacy in governing the national capital, “The  Bench of the Supreme Court has  stated in its order dated July 4, 2018, that the lieutenant governor can exercise his constitutional powers over decisions of the democratically elected government only in the rarest of rare cases.”

Appointment of a panel of lawyers does not fall into any rare category. In reference to section 24 of the CrPC, the Delhi government has the right to appoint public prosecutors.

Almost 270 prominent figures of National capital Delhi have urged CM Arvind Kejriwal to initiate an autonomous probe under a retired judge into the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February this year. In reference to six proposals for demanding such a probe, a letter by the citizens said it would “bring confidence to the people of Delhi and take forward the necessity to punish those who are guilty and to bring justice to the victims of riots also.”

Police brutality and impartiality is evident in the case of Zargar, 27-year-old who was three months pregnant at the time of arrest is presently on bail citing humanitarian grounds. She was colligated with the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC), which had orchestrated peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

On April 10, she was apprehended by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell in connection with the Jafrabad road-block case (FIR 48/2020). She got bail after three days. However, on the same day, her name was added to FIR 59/2020 which led to her arrest again. 

On April 21,  the UAPA was also added to the FIR and she was booked again under UAPA. However, police had not registered FIR against Kapil Mishra, until the court directed, who gave proactive speeches and used riot triggering words.

So at this time, the demeanour of police in favour of those who must be sentenced is clearly impartial. And the government who got reelected on the basis of their tireless work on social problems and needs is more credible.

The government must not impede from performing their duties by using the rarest of rare constitutional powers. At the time when there is no strong opposition in the country and the incumbent government is readily intruding into the constitutional bodies to a great extent than to save the democracy the state or UT’s government of other parties, who are people’s representatives not the mouthpiece of authoritarian government, are the last for the people. As we all know that decent dissent constitutes democracy.

Written By Chanderveer Singh

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