Eleven special public prosecutors (SPPs) have been appointed by Lt-Governor Anil Baijal to ensure a “speedy trial” in connection with the Northeast Delhi riots in February. The prosecutors will handle over 700 cases, including 53 murder cases, filed with respect to the riots so far. The advocates have been appointed after their names were recommended by the Delhi Police to the L-G’s office.
In a notification issued on June 24 in the name of the L-G, the Deputy Secretary (Home) of the Delhi government stated, “…the Competent Authority is pleased to appoint these persons as Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs). They shall conduct all court proceedings, including bail, trial, appeals, and all other miscellaneous matters, incidental to and connected with all the FIRs which have been registered in respect of riots in Northeast Delhi or any other matter related to these FIRs.”
The Indian Express had reported on May 2 that Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava had decided to appoint a panel of SPPs. The lawyers have been selected on the basis of their experience, a minimum of 10 years, and expertise.
“Advocate Manoj Chaudhary; Rajiv Krishna Sharma; Nitin Raj Sharma; Devendra Kumar Bhatia; Naresh Kumar Gaur; Amit Prasad; Jinendra Jain; Anuj Handa; Ram Chander Singh Bhadoria; Uttam Datt; and Salim Ahmad. Their fee structure is Rs 5,000 per day along with 10% clerical charges as effective hearing charges, Rs 1,000 per day as non-effective hearing charges, Rs 20,000 per day as maximum hearing charges and irrespective of number of cases,” the notification stated.
The Indian Express has learnt that initially, names of 20 advocates were proposed by the Delhi Police to L-G Baijal for approval.
“In the last week of April, a meeting was called by Shrivastava in which he discussed the status of all the cases and was informed that more than 800 arrests have been made… The Northeast district police are probing cases of assault during violence, vandalism, and robbery. All units of the crime branch are probing murder cases, while the Special Cell, the anti-terror wing of the Delhi Police, is probing the larger conspiracy,” said an officer.
Police also sought help from the SPPs while preparing the chargesheets. A meeting of all shortlisted advocates had been called by the officers of the legal cell at the Delhi Police Headquarters. Officers from the Northeast district and crime branch were also part of the meeting. “They were briefed as they have to coordinate with the crime branch and district police to help them prepare a watertight chargesheet,” said an officer.
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