The Delhi high court on Friday said it will not hear a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against him for writing an “inflammatory” article in a Mumbai daily in 2011 until the Centre and AAP government resolve the dispute as to who will represent the Delhi Police.
It asked the Centre and the Delhi government to move an appropriate bench for resolving the dispute on the issue.
A case was filed against Swamy in October 2011 by the crime branch of Delhi Police on a complaint from the National Commission for Minorities, for writing in July 2011 the alleged inflammatory article which the complaint said was intended to spread communal enmity.
Justice Suresh Kait said till the issue between the Centre and the Delhi government was decided, it will not hear Swamy’s petition as it witnessed a controversy over who would conduct the proceedings in this case, as counsel for both the Centre and the AAP government claimed they were authorised to represent the police.
Both Centre and Delhi government opposed each other when additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain, appearing for Delhi Police claimed that special public prosecutor (SPP) Shailendra Babbar is assisting him in the case and he has got an order from the LG office appointing him to represent the police.
Countering the Centre’s claim, Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said they were appointed to represent the police by the full court of the high court and if the Union government “does not want us they can get it denotified.”
Mehra further submitted that in view of his submissions, Babbar cannot be allowed to represent this case.
During the hearing, there was an exchange of words between counsel for both the governments inside the court room, which later continued outside also.
Observing this, the court ordered that in view of the controversy, it will hear the matter only after the issue, which has cropped up now, is settled.
“The parties are at liberty to challenge this (whether Delhi Government or LG appointed counsel will represent this matter) before an appropriate bench,” the court said and listed the matter for May 27.