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'PIL has been filed for publicity’: Delhi High Court on third plea to remove Arvind Kejriwal as CM

Kejriwal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering case linked to the now-scrapped excise policy for Delhio on March 21, is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: April 08, 2024 14:17 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi High Court on Monday took up a petition on Monday that seeks the removal of arrested AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal from the post of chief minister of the national capital. The court remarked that a plea seeking the removal of Kejriwal from the post of chief minister was filed for "publicity" and the petitioner deserved to have "heavy costs" imposed on him.

Justice Subramonium Prasad made the observation while transferring the petition filed by former AAP MLA Sandeep Kumar to the court of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan where similar petitions were heard earlier.

"This is just for publicity," Justice Prasad said.

"Since similar matters have been listed and disposed of by the Acting Chief Justice, list this petition before the bench headed by the Acting Chief Justice," he said.

After transferring the petition, Justice Prasad said, "I would have imposed heavy costs."

In his petition, Kumar has said that after Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case, the leader has incurred an "incapacity" to carry out the chief minister's functions under the Constitution.

The plea says the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader's "unavailability" complicates the constitutional mechanism and he can never function as the chief minister from prison according to the mandate of the Constitution.

"Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution provides for the Council of Ministers with the chief minister at the head to aid and advise the lieutenant governor in the exercise of his functions in relation to matters with respect to which the legislative Assembly has power to make laws. The aid and advice to the lieutenant governor are practically not possible without the chief minister being a free person available to render his aid and advice under the Constitution," the petition says.

"Issue a writ of quo warranto against Respondent No.1 i.e. Mr Arvind Kejriwal, the incumbent chief minister of Delhi, by calling upon him to show by what authority, qualification and title he holds the office of the chief minister of Delhi under Article 239AA of the Constitution and after an inquiry, dislodge him from the office of the chief minister of Delhi with or without the retrospective effect," the petition prays.

The high court had earlier rejected two public interest litigation pleas seeking Kejriwal's removal from the chief minister's post.

On April 4, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet P S Arora refused to entertain a PIL on the issue, saying it was Kejriwal's personal choice to continue as the chief minister.

Earlier, the bench had dismissed a similar PIL, observing that the petitioner had failed to show any legal bar that prohibited the arrested chief minister from holding office. It had observed that there was no scope for judicial interference in the matter and that it was for the other organs of the State to look into the issue.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: West Bengal: NIA denies allegations of unlawful actions in Bhoopatinagar, says "Mob attack..."

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