Chief Secretary moves court seeking special public prosecutor in ‘assault’ casehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/chief-secretary-moves-court-seeking-special-public-prosecutor-in-assault-case-anshu-prakash-5358367/

Chief Secretary moves court seeking special public prosecutor in ‘assault’ case

Delhi home minister had refused request from police. The matter will come up next on September 18.

Chief secretary Anshu Prakash

Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash has filed an application in the Patiala House Court, seeking a Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the case pertaining to the alleged assault on him at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.

Prakash’s application comes days after Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain turned down a request from Delhi Police’s Deputy Commissioner of Police (Legal Cell, Police Headquarters) for the appointment of three SPPs in the case.

It is learnt that the chief secretary has moved the application in his personal capacity, requesting that the prosecutor in the case be changed and an SPP be appointed.

Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and 11 AAP MLAs are named in the chargesheet in the case, filed by police last month. Prakash was allegedly assaulted at the CM’s residence during a meeting on the intervening night of February 19-20.

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Jain had conveyed his decision to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Manoj Parida, who had placed the request to the minister on August 21 after police wrote to the government with a reminder that “no communication in connection with the appointment of Special Public Prosecutor has been received in this office so far”.

After Jain rejected his request, Parida had written back, urging him to reconsider his decision. He wrote that since Kejriwal and Sisodia are among the “accused” in the case, the regular public prosecutors who work under the elected government may find it “difficult” to handle the matter, suggesting a potential conflict of interest.

“The Hon’ble Minister (Home’s) refusal above to engage special public prosecutors may also be looked at from a coloured angle since Hon’ble Minister (Home) works under Hon’ble CM and bears part of collective responsibility. The most appropriate decision will be to allow appointment of special PPs with approval of Hon’ble L-G,” Parida had written.

But Jain rejected the request, saying the public prosecutors are “competent to handle this type of cases” and termed Parida’s suggestion “mischievous”.

“If the Minister could be biased because he is working under Hon’ble CM, similar bias can be alleged against ACS (Home), who is working under Chief Secretary and taking directions from CS… It is ridiculous to say that public prosecutors will act in a partisan and political manner,” Jain wrote.

“They are professional people who are trained to handle matter in an independent and professional way… no one else but the APP/PP attached with the Court of Sh. Samar Vishal, Ld. ACMM, Patiala House Courts should appear in the case,” he wrote.

The matter will come up next on September 18.