Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court
Litigation News

[Delhi Riots] Delhi HC directs Central Govt counsel to show letter from Lt-Governor authorizing him to file plea in Faisal Farooq bail case

Following an objection by the Delhi Government, which was raised in the pre-lunch session, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi chose to not appear before the Court in the second half.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today directed Central Government counsel to place before it documents to show that authorization was received from the Lieutenant Governor, Delhi to enable him to file a petition in a Delhi riots case on behalf of Delhi Police. (State vs Faisal Farooq)

The order was passed by a single Judge Bench of Justice Suresh Kait after the Delhi Government stated that the petition should be filed through it.

Following the objection, which was raised in the pre-lunch session and ultimately led to the hearing being adjourned till 2:30 pm, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi chose to not appear before the Court in the second half.

Central Government Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan informed the Court that like Solicitior General Tushar Mehta, now ASG Lekhi was "getting embarrassed" due to the controversy.

The case pertains to the challenge to the bail granted to a Delhi riots accused, Faisal Farooq.

When the challenge to the bail order was taken up by the Court last month, both Delhi Government Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had entered appearance.

While 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.

On the next date of hearing, while none appeared for the Delhi Government, ASG Lekhi informed the Court that he would represent the State in the matter.

Today, Additional Standing Counsel for Delhi Government Rajesh Mahajan, at the outset, pointed out that the present petition had been filed "in the name of the State" but through Central Government. To remedy the issue, he offered that the Delhi Government be allowed to re-file the petition.

This resulted in a strong reaction from Justice Kait who berated the Delhi Government for not appearing before the Court on the last date of hearing and then choosing to revive the controversy.

ASG Aman Lekhi also remarked that "noise" was being made by Delhi Government on every occasion and reiterated that he had the approval to file the petition and appear in the present case.

In a bid to put the controversy to rest, the Court proceeded to dictate the order for the day and asked ASG Lekhi to share the documents in his support.

The matter was thereafter adjourned till 2:30 pm in order to allow Central Government counsel to share all the requisite documents.

When the matter came up post-lunch, Standing Counsel for Delhi Government, Rahul Mehra entered appearance, ASG Lekhi did not.

Justice Kait pointed out that one of the letters shared with it was issued by DCP, Legal Cell, Delhi Police with respect to the Harsh Mander case.

Standing Counsel for Central Government, Amit Mahajan, who is also the filing counsel, and Advocate Rajat Nair clarified that the authorization was for Mander as well as all other cases arising out of the law and order situation in North-East Delhi.

The Court, however, remarked that per se the DCP concerned did not have the power to issue such an authorization.

What is this letter? This letter is nothing..
Justice Kait said.

Mahajan explained that once the information/letter was received from an Officer as senior as a DCP, he could not doubt it.

We are not privy to their internal notings and files, he added as Court asked if the DCP was authorized by the competent authority to appoint counsel.

You should have each and every letter.. it (objection) was raised on the first day. You should have everything.
Delhi High Court remarked.

The Court ultimately adjourned the matter till tomorrow to allow Majahan to place on record all documents from the Lt-Governor which authorized him to file the petition in the instant case.

If the Petitioner fails to file the approval letter, the interim order of stay shall be vacated.
Delhi High Court

The matter would be heard next on July 2.

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