Rahul Mehra, who describes himself as the Standing Counsel of Delhi Police, put out a tweet on 5 January criticising the police over the JNU incident.
His tweet was shared widely.
I, as Standing Counsel @DelhiPolice, hang my head in shame after witnessing video clips of goons merrily entering JNU campus, creating mayhem &grievously injuring innocent students, damaging public property and then exiting the campus in capital city. Where is our force @CPDelhi?— Rahul Mehra (@TheRahulMehra) January 5, 2020
Mehra also put out other similar tweets.
His remarks were widely publicised by the different media channels, with headlines like “Delhi Police lawyer questions cops on JNU violence” and “JNU Attack Delhi Police Lawyer Rahul Mehra tweets Hang My Head In Shame”.
The headlines mentioned above give an impression that the conduct of the Delhi Police was so shameful that even its own lawyer had to “hang his hand in shame”.
As it turns out, Rahul Mehra is not just the Standing Counsel for the Delhi Police, but also a co-founder of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
A DNA report mentions Mehra as the “co-founder and spokesperson of AAP. a lawyer and a sports activist”.
Interestingly, Mehra has not mentioned the above information in his introduction on Twitter, which only says, “Standing Counsel (Criminal), Government of NCT of Delhi and a sports activist.” The above mentioned news reports about his criticism of the Delhi Police also fail to mention this fact.
However, Mehra has shares several posts on Twitter praising the AAP.
Many on social media criticised the conduct of Mehra.
“This man is Standing Counsel for the Delhi Police, which is under the Central Govt. He is also a 'co founder' of and spokesperson of the AAP. How will he ever effectively represent Delhi police?” asked one user.
The user added that choosing personal political affiliations over professional duty was unethical.
“Contrary to popular knowledge, government lawyers make tons of money from these cases. The reason being the large number of matters listed every day. Most of them are also extremely mediocre and wouldn't be able to gain the trust of a single private client”.
“This is the taxpayers money they are feeding off. The least the taxpayer deserves is honest and effective representation, not this sort of public posturing and tomfoolery,” the user tweeted in response to Mehra’s tweet.
Interestingly, when Mehra was appointed to represent the Delhi Police in court cases in 2015, the force had expressed caution against the choice of a political person, as in the role of Delhi Police’s counsel he would have to appear in the cases against his own party members.
The AAP had then justified Mehra’s choice - even though he had been quite politically active - saying that he was the 'most efficient' person for the job and that he was selected following a thorough process.