The lieutenant-governor, Anil Baijal, had advised the AAP government to approve the Delhi Police panel. This has set the stage for an escalation in the confrontation between the state government and the LG.
In a separate decision, the cabinet also refused to give its nod to another panel of three lawyers recommended by Delhi Police for the northeast Delhi riot cases.
The government said in a statement that the Centre was putting pressure on the cabinet through the LG to approve the Delhi Police panel. “It is the duty of every Indian to support the farmers of the country. We have not done any favour and have only fulfilled our duty towards the farmers of the country. Farmers are not criminals or terrorists, they are our food providers,” chief minister Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi after the cabinet took the decisions.
The decisions have been conveyed to the LG who may refer the matter to the President. If the LG takes that course, it will be the first such instance since the GNCTD (Amendment) Act, 2021 was passed by Parliament giving more powers to the LG.
Following a similar tussle, a panel of six lawyers suggested by Delhi Police for the northeast Delhi riot cases was notified last year after the LG referred the matter to the President.
Delivering a digital address, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the LG does not have the right to decide what the elected government does on this issue. “This habit of the LG to exercise veto on everything the AAP government does is against democracy, against Constitution and against the decision of the constitutional bench of the SC. It will destroy democracy,” he said.