Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has approved a proposal for issuing a notification to appoint senior public prosecutors of CBI for trial in 20 POCSO cases after a “delay” of several months on the part of the Arvind Kejriwal Government.
Meanwhile, the AAP Government in a statement alleged that the Lieutenant Governor issued the orders “behind the back of an elected government” and termed it “illegal” while asserting that it would challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
“Neither the minister nor the chief minister was taken into confidence by the LG. We are surprised that despite facing strong reprimand from the Supreme Court repeatedly, the LG has issued orders without jurisdiction,” the statement said.
However, the Raj Niwas official, in a note, alleged, “The Kejriwal government has been sitting over a trial court order to appoint senior public prosecutors of CBI for speedy disposal of 20 POCSO cases in different courts of the city for the past nine months.”
“Constrained by this inaction and unexplained delay on the part of the Kejriwal government, Delhi LG V K Saxena has approved the Home Department proposal to invoke the power of Central Government under Section 24(8) of CrPC and send the proposal for issue of notification for appointment of senior prosecutors, to the Ministry of Home Affairs,” the official said. The file seeking notification by the Delhi government under Section 32 of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act for appointment of the senior public prosecutors of CBI was moved by the home department following a direction by a trial court and subsequent letters by the central probe agency to ensure the same in August and December 2022, he said.
The direction was issued by the trial court to ensure that trials in different POCSO courts are completed within the stipulated time period of one year, as envisaged under Section 35 of the Act. The proposal for the appointment of prosecutors was moved in January this year by the Home Department and has been pending with Chief Minister Kejriwal since May 8, 2023, the Raj Nivas official claimed.
The file first reached the Delhi Home Minister , on 11.01.2023, and subsequently to the chief minister on 16.01.2023. The chief minister marked the file back to the minister-in-charge on 06.02.2023, and after reaching the law minister, GNCTD, through an unspecified date in the file monitoring system, it was submitted back to the chief minister on 08.05.2023. Since then it has been lying unaddressed, he said.
“Even as Chief Minister Kejriwal and his ministers politicised incidents of crime in the city and spoke about the absence of fear of law amongst criminals, when it came to practice they did not even comply with the basic requirements of investigation and justice delivery system,” charged the Raj Niwas official.