Delhi HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Removal Of Arvind Kejriwal As CM

The PIL was filed by Surjit Singh Yadav, a resident of Delhi who claims to be a farmer and social worker. Yadav argued that a Chief Minister accused of a financial scandal should not be allowed to hold public office.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal arrives to appear before the Rouse Avenue Court in the excise policy-linked money laundering case, in New Delhi, Thursday, March 28 Photo: PTI

The Delhi High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Thursday that sought the removal of Arvind Kejriwal from his position as Chief Minister of Delhi. The case was heard by a division bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday himself made submissions in the Rouse Avenue court in Delhi in during the hearing in the excise policy case and said a smokescreen of the AAP being corrupt has been created before the nation. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener made the submissions in Hindi after getting permission from the court despite his lawyers being present.

He made the submissions as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) produced him in the court of Special Judge Kaveri Baweja and sought seven-day further custody, arguing he needs to be confronted with some people linked with the case.

The ED said Kejriwal was giving evasive replies and not disclosing passwords of his digital devices. In his submissions, Kejriwal said, "I am named by four witnesses in the excise policy case. Are four statements enough to arrest a sitting CM?"

While entering the Rouse Avenue Court, Kejriwal said on Thursday, "This is a political conspiracy, the public will give a befitting reply."

PIL For Removal Of Kejriwal As Delhi CM

The PIL was filed by Surjit Singh Yadav, a resident of Delhi who claims to be a farmer and social worker. Yadav argued that a Chief Minister accused of a financial scandal should not be allowed to hold public office.

Yadav, in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), argued that if Kejriwal remains in his position, it would interfere with the proper legal procedures and the justice system and also result in a breakdown of the constitutional structure in the State.

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He also explained that it is because Kejriwal fails to meet most of the requirements outlined in Article 163 and 164 of the Indian Constitution due to his imprisonment.

According to Live Law report, the plea said, "That the Respondent No.4 has virtually forfeited his office as a Chief Minister of account of being arrested and as he is in the Custody he has disabled himself from performing the duties and responsibilities of being a public servant and as such he ought not to continue as a Chief Minister."

Yadav argued that if a Chief Minister is imprisoned, they would be unable to carry out any official duties required by law.

Even if they were allowed to conduct business, any documents, regardless of their confidentiality, would need to be thoroughly checked by prison authorities before reaching Kejriwal.

He stated that it would directly violate the oath of secrecy that the Chief Minister takes, as outlined in the Third Schedule of the Constitution.

Further, the plea stated that the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993 grants the Chief Minister the authority to request files from any department of the Cabinet.

The plea also added that if Kejriwal remains as the Chief Minister, he would have the full right to request an investigation into files where he has been accused.

The plea said that such a situation is "against the ethos of Criminal Jurisprudence."

Yadav had requested the Court to issue a writ in the form of Quo Warranto, demanding an explanation from Kejriwal about the basis on which he is serving as the CM, and subsequently remove him from the position.

Several AAP Ministers including Atishi have been making statements in the media that Kejriwal will not resign from the post and if need be, he will run the government from inside the prison.

Arvind Kejriwal himself during the Delhi Excise Policy court hearing said that, "This is a political conspiracy. The people will give a reply." He responded to LG VK Saxena's claim that "I can assure the people of Delhi that the government will not be run from jail."

As per reports,Yadav has also submitted another PIL requesting to stop Kejriwal from giving instructions or commands while in custody of the Enforcement Directorate. The plea is still awaiting listing.