"Heavy costs should be imposed": Delhi HC on plea to remove Kejriwal as CM

High court said that a plea seeking the removal of Arvind Kejriwal from the post of chief minister was filed for "publicity"

Representative image of Delhi High Court logo (photo: PTI)
Representative image of Delhi High Court logo (photo: PTI)


The Delhi High Court on Monday, 8 April, remarked that a plea seeking the removal of Arvind 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 ACJ," 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 said the 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.

"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 said.

"Issue a writ of quo warranto against respondent no. 1, that is, 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 prayed.

The matter will now be listed for a hearing on 10 April.

Kejriwal, who was arrested by the ED on 21 March, is in judicial custody till 15 April. He is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

The high court had earlier rejected two public interest litigations (PILs) seeking Kejriwal's removal from the chief minister's post.

On 4 April, a bench of acting chief justice Manmohan and justice Manmeet PS 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.

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