After hearing a batch of pleas for 16 days, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on December 5.
A day after the Supreme Court gave a ruling that nominated members cannot vote in the Delhi mayor elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday alleged that Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena “forced” the city government to appoint Tushar Mehta to fight its case in the apex court in the matter over Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) mayor.
Kejriwal alleged that the lieutenant governor has committed criminal contempt of court by trying to get his lawyer to argue both sides of the case.
Addressing a press conference here, the chief minister said, “AAP’s mayor candidate Shelly Oberoi made the Delhi government and the L-G parties in the case. Delhi government, which has the right to choose any lawyer, asked the Urban Development Secretary to appoint Gautam Narayan.”
“But LG directed the Urban Development Secretary on February 9 that the Urban Development Department shall defend this petition on behalf of the office of the Lt Governor and engage the services of Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, to defend the petition,” Kejriwal alleged.
The lieutenant governor tried to ‘unconstitutionally’ influence the case so that the truth doesn’t come out in the court, he added further.
“This is like my lawyer is mine, but your lawyer is also mine,” said Kejriwal alleging that the LG wanted Tushar Mehta to defend all his “wrong acts” in the court by representing both sides.
In a tweet, Kejriwal said, “Hon’ble LG tried to forcibly prevent Delhi govt from presenting its views before Hon’ble SC. This amounts to interference in the administration of justice.”
The chief minister also wrote a letter to the lieutenant governor on this issue.
The letter reads: “In the case before Hon’ble SC on MCD Mayor issue, Delhi government and LG had contrary viewpoints on all issues. In the interest of justice and to enable Hon’ble SC to arrive at the correct conclusion, it was important that all viewpoints were presented before Hon’ble SC. However, there was an attempt by Hon’ble L-G to prevent the Delhi government from presenting its views before Hon’ble SC.”
“Office of Hon’ble L-G issued following directions to UD secretary on February 9. Hon’ble Lt. Governor has desired that the Urban Development Department, GNCTD shall defend this petition on behalf of Respondent No. 1 also i.e. Office of Lt. Governor, Delhi and engage the services of Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India to defend this petition,” the letter reads further.
“It means that Hon’ble L-G wished to appoint the counsel for himself as well as the opposing party. Hon’ble L-G wanted Tushar Mehta to represent himself as well as the opposing party i.e. Delhi govt,” said Kejriwal in the letter.
Posting the letter on social media, Kejriwal tweeted, “L-G forced Delhi govt to appoint Tushar Mehta in MCD Mayor case in SC. So, Tushar Mehta represented both opposing parties – Delhi govt and L-G. Isn’t this interference in the administration of justice? Isn’t this a criminal act?”