Amid PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu pressing for removal of Punjab Advocate General A P S Deol, Punjab government Friday appointed senior advocate Rajwinder Singh Bains as Special Public Prosecutor to appear on behalf of the government in cases pertaining to Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing.
Sidhu’s contention has been that Deol was a defence lawyer of former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, who was the DGP during the sacrilege and firing, adding that if he appeared in the cases on behalf of the government then it would be conflict of interest. The PPCC chief had resigned seeking removal of Deol. The party had, in a comprise deal on Thursday, left the issue of Deol’s removal to the high command.
With the government appointing a special public prosecutor, it is being watched if the appointment is an indication that the government would not replace Deol.
Deol has already stated that he will not appear in any such cases. He had also stated that special prosecutors will be appointed to handle such cases.
A government statement said that Bains was appointed Special Public Prosecutor under Section 24 (8) of CrPC.
Quoting Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, the state government said, the newly appointed special public prosecutor has been mandated to appear before the trial court/courts besides Punjab and Haryana High Court on behalf of state government in the cases related to FIR no. 129, 130, 192 related to the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing cases.
A notification with regard to the orders of special public prosecutor has been issued by the Principal Secretary, Home Affairs, and Justice Anurag Verma this evening, which would come into force with immediate effect.
R S Bains, is the son of Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd). He was enrolled as advocate in 1985. He did his LLB from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Bains is also graduated in BSc Engineering from PEC (Punjab Engineering College) in 1979.
He has been practicing as advocate and dealing with cases including service law, human rights law and criminal law.
The appointment has, however, raised questions. A legal luminary asked, “Even if the government has appointed a special public prosecutor, the terms and conditions of his appointment can only be fixed by the AG. Is it still not a conflict of interest?”
He further said, “R S Bains will report to the AG only. Also, the previous Advocate General Atul Nanda had given an opinion that the state government should file an SLP in the Supreme Court in Saini’s case. Who will now decide on whether the SLP should be filed or not?” he asked.
(With inputs from Jagpreet Singh Sandhu)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines