Kejriwal's order from custody part of script, says BJP MP; can govern from jail, say experts

MP Manoj Tiwari raised questions on the legitimacy of an order reportedly issued by Arvind Kejriwal on water and sewage issues in Delhi

AAP supporters at a protest against Arvind Kejriwal's arrest, at New Delhi on Sunday (photo: PTI)
AAP supporters at a protest against Arvind Kejriwal's arrest, at New Delhi on Sunday (photo: PTI)


Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, currently in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) custody, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari raised questions about the legitimacy of an order purportedly issued by Kejriwal to address water and sewage issues in the city.

Tiwari's remarks come after water minister Atishi, at a press conference, informed media that she had received directions from the Delhi chief minister late on Saturday, from ED custody, on running the city government.

"Today, a narrative was constructed regarding a detainee under ED custody, following a lack of backing for Arvind Kejriwal," Tiwari said in a statement on Sunday.

Highlighting the dire conditions prevailing in Delhi, Tiwari emphasised the urgency of addressing pressing issues faced by its residents. "If you wish to witness the state of Delhi, simply observe its streets. The drains overflow with contaminated water, seeping onto the streets and infiltrating households, resulting in tainted drinking water," he said, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

Tiwari further conveyed a sentiment of disillusionment among the populace, asserting, "Now, Delhi will not listen to your script. Delhi people have lost trust in you."

In response to queries regarding Kejriwal's order, ED officials declined to comment on the matter. According to experts, however, Kejriwal as chief minister can run his government from jail or custody.

“He can hold meetings of the cabinet and sign files by taking prior approval from the court as per the jail manual. However in custody, such orders are approved by concerned officers before being sent out," Supreme Court lawyer Vineet Jindal told IANS. “We do not know how this particular communication took place. Whether it was allowed by ED officials or not.”

Advocate Rudra Vikram Singh said since the chief minister is only an accused at this stage, he can't be barred from running the government from custody. "Some specific time may be allowed to him to do all this work," he said.

Kejriwal, who was arrested on Thursday and subsequently remanded to ED custody until 28 March by a Delhi court, faces allegations of direct involvement in a conspiracy related to the formulation of an excise policy favouring specific individuals. Kejriwal is also accused of soliciting kickbacks from liquor businessmen in exchange for favours, as claimed by the probe agency.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader has refuted the accusations levelled against him and has accused the BJP-led Central government of "manipulating investigative agencies for political motives".

The ED has said Kejriwal is the "kingpin and key conspirator" in the now-scrapped excise policy in collusion with AAP ministers, leaders and other persons.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines