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Delhi HC Dismisses PIL To Remove Arvind Kejriwal From CM Post After Arrest

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan said the petitioner did not show any legal provision prohibiting the AAP leader from running the government post arrest to warrant any judicial interference, and the executive authorities would act in case there is a constitutional failure.

Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday rejected a PIL seeking the removal of AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal from the post of Delhi chief minister following his arrest in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan said the petitioner did not show any legal provision prohibiting the AAP leader from running the government post arrest to warrant any judicial interference, and the executive authorities would act in case there is a constitutional failure.

"There may be difficulties. It will be practically very very difficult. We accept all those. (But) Is there any scope for judicial interference in this, on this issue?," the bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet P S Arora, stated.

"This court is of the view that there is no scope for judicial interference vis-a-vis the relief sought for removal of respondent no. 4 (Kejriwal). It is for the other wings of the government to examine in accordance with the law," the court concluded.

It clarified that it has not commented on the merits of the issue.

Petitioner Surjit Singh Yadav's counsel argued that Kejriwal's arrest adversely affected the integrity of the Delhi government in the eyes of the general public and his continuation as the chief minister would obstruct the due process of law and lead to breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the capital.

Justice Manmohan said the high court does not impose president's or governor's rule and it is for the executive wing to examine the issue.

"Today you have to show us that there is any bar or prohibition which prevents him from continuing as a CM. If there is a constitutional failure, the President will act on it or the governor will act on it. We will not act on it," the court told the petitioner's counsel.

"The LG has to consider, the President of India has to consider and the council of ministers will consider. They know how to do it. They know how to operate the constitutional provisions. We don't impose President's rule or governor's rule," it added.

Stating that the executive may take some time to arrive at a conclusion with respect to the situation, the court remarked that probably, this situation was not envisaged.

"There is no legal bar that you are able to show us. Let the executive branch examine," it said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener, who was arrested on March 21 and subsequently remanded to the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) custody first till March 28 by a Delhi court, faces allegations of direct involvement in a conspiracy related to the formulation of the excise policy favouring specific individuals.

A Delhi court sent him to the ED custody till April 1 earlier during the day.

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