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Delhi High Court Voices Concern Over Government Standstill Amid Kejriwal’s Incarceration

New Delhi: In a scathing assessment of the administrative paralysis gripping Delhi following Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest, the Delhi High Court on Monday raised alarm over the city’s governance grinding to a halt in the wake of the AAP supremo’s detention.

The court’s admonition came as Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj disclosed that any augmentation in the financial authority of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Commissioner necessitates Chief Minister Kejriwal’s endorsement.

Expressing grave apprehension, the court underscored that the role of a Chief Minister in a bustling metropolis like Delhi is far from ceremonial, demanding their round-the-clock availability for governance.

The judiciary’s rebuke adds to the mounting challenges for the AAP, which has pledged that Kejriwal will continue to discharge his official duties despite his incarceration.

“The interest of the nation and its citizens mandates that an individual occupying this post remains accessible and engaged, rather than being incommunicado or absent for prolonged periods,” remarked the Bench.

The court’s comments transpired during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) concerning the deplorable state of education in MCD-run schools, where nearly two lakh students are reportedly deprived of basic amenities due to bureaucratic hurdles.

In a decisive move, the Bench directed the MCD Commissioner to allocate funds for providing textbooks and essential supplies to students, overriding the ₹5 crore expenditure cap.

Asserting the urgency of the matter, the court affirmed, “The absence of a Chief Minister or disputes over administrative appointments should not impede the fundamental right of schoolchildren to access educational materials promptly.”

While acknowledging Kejriwal’s decision to retain his position amidst legal entanglements, the court emphasized that the welfare of young students must not be compromised due to administrative impasse.

The court’s scrutiny of the government’s inertia echoes its previous censure of Kejriwal’s refusal to resign following his arrest on alleged money laundering charges, lambasting his prioritization of personal interests over public welfare.

Kejriwal’s detention by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21, linked to a money laundering investigation concerning an alleged excise policy scam, has exacerbated governance challenges in Delhi.

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