New Delhi, Jan 4: Against the backdrop of a bitter standoff between AAP dispensation and Delhi Police, its commissioner BS Bassi on Monday asserted that Delhiites are "fortunate" that the city police was not under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.
The city's top cop also said that his force enjoyed "fair autonomy" in its operation and bringing it under the Delhi government meant it would have to "give in to local pressure".
"I can tell you that people of Delhi are fortunate to have the police not under the Delhi government...otherwise there would be a lot of local pressure," he said.
Bassi was addressing the Delhi Police annual press conference here, his last as Delhi police commissioner.
"A Prime Minister will not have local influence, a Home Minister will not have local influence, but if the Delhi Police comes under the local government, then the Chief Minister would have local influence," Bassi claimed.
The police chief, however, did not make any direct reference to the Arvind Kejriwal-led government, with which the Delhi Police has been engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts in past several months over its functioning.
A number of rape incidents in the national capital last year had triggered a flash point between the AAP government fronted by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi Police led by Bassi.
The AAP government had in fact upped the ante and even proposed putting Delhi Police under its jurisdiction for a year, on a trial basis, prompting quick rebuttal from Bassi.
In his strongest assertion, the police commissioner had said it would be a "very unfortunate" day in the history of the capital if the Delhi Police comes under the city government and that its functioning under the Centre's jurisdiction was "perfect".
"The present system is the best. No Prime Minister has any vested interest in Delhi unless he belongs to Delhi. I have not seen any PM having any local interest in Delhi during my long career. Even if there is a pressure from the Centre, we (Delhi Police) are able to deflect it, as they have no local interest, but if it comes from a chief minister, then it would become difficult," he had said.