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Delhi High Court Dismisses PIL Seeking Arvind Kejriwal’s Removal as Chief Minister

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has rejected a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the removal of Arvind Kejriwal from his position as the Chief Minister of Delhi. The court stated that there is no room for judicial intervention in this matter, emphasizing that it is the responsibility of the executive branch to address such issues in accordance with the law.

A bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan questioned the petitioner regarding any legal prohibition or barrier that prevents Kejriwal from continuing as Chief Minister. The court asserted that if there is a constitutional lapse, it is the prerogative of the President or Governor to take appropriate action.

The petitioner, Surjit Singh Yadav, a Delhi resident and self-proclaimed farmer and social worker, had argued that Kejriwal’s recent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the liquor policy case disqualifies him from holding public office. Yadav contended that a Chief Minister involved in a financial scandal and currently in custody should not be allowed to remain in office, as it hampers the legal process and undermines the state’s constitutional machinery.

Referring to Articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution, the petitioner claimed that Kejriwal’s status as an inmate impedes his ability to fulfill his duties as Chief Minister effectively.

The bench observed that the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) is examining the matter, and any decision would ultimately rest with the executive branch. The court dismissed the PIL, stating that judicial intervention in this case is unwarranted.

While rejecting the plea, the court clarified that it has not passed judgment on the merits of the case. The petitioner had raised concerns about the practicality of a jailed Chief Minister managing governmental affairs from prison and argued that allowing Kejriwal to retain his position might influence ongoing investigations in which he is involved, thus compromising the principles of criminal jurisprudence.

The petitioner had urged the court to issue a writ of Quo Warranto, compelling Kejriwal to justify his authority to hold the office of Chief Minister and, subsequently, to remove him from the position. However, the court’s decision reflects its stance against intervening in matters reserved for the executive branch.

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