Delhi HC slams petitioner over similar plea seeking removal of Kejriwal from CM’s post

The Delhi High Court on Monday expressed displeasure over a plea by former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) minister and ex-MLA Sandeep Kumar seeking the removal of Arvind Kejriwal from the post of Chief Minister of Delhi.

A bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad criticised the petitioner saying this is a third plea on the same lines and that heavy costs should be imposed on him.

The judge went on to say that those similar petitions have already been heard and rejected by the bench of acting Chief Justice Manmohan and that the present plea was nothing but a “publicity interest petition”.

Justice Prasad questioned Kumar as to how can the writ of quo warranto be issued against Kejriwal.

The court then transferred the matter for April 10 to the division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, since the sane bench had heard the previous similar pleas.

On April 1, the court sent Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15 in connection with a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam in the national capital.

Stating that Kejriwal is the ex-officio Vice Chairman of the State Disaster Management Authority under Section 14 (4) of the Disaster Management Act, who presides over the meeting of the state authority in the absence of its Chairman, Kumar has submitted that Kejriwal cannot discharge his duty on this count while in custody.

“A disaster may happen suddenly, at any time, and therefore the unavailability of the Chief Minister may result in paralysing disaster management in Delhi, which may affect the right to life of all the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

“It is submitted that the job under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 is an all-time job and no risk can be taken in this matter by leaving this to the fate of the Chief Minister, who is currently under judicial custody,” Kumar said in his plea.

“The Chief Minister while lodged in jail has incurred an incapacity to carry out his constitutional obligations and functions under Articles 239AA (4), 167 (b) and (c) and proviso to sub-section (4) of Section 14 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and hence he can no longer function as the Chief Minister of Delhi,” the petition read.

The petitioner also said that Kejriwal, while in jail, prevents the Lieutenant Governor from exercising his Constitutional obligations and functions under Article 167 (c) of the Constitution, which is identical to Section 45 (c) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, and for this reason also, he cannot continue in office.

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On Thursday, the Delhi High Court refused to entertain a PIL seeking the removal of Kejriwal from the position of Chief Minister.

The petition, filed by Hindu Sena President Vishnu Gupta, claimed that the situation after Kejriwal’s recent arrest by the ED constitutes a breach of constitutional trust mandated by the Constitution.

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