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‘Heavy costs should be imposed’: Delhi HC on plea to remove Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister 
Apr 08, 2024 01:12 pm

 A plea was filed by former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Sandeep Kumar seeking to dislodge Arvind Kejriwal from holding the post of Delhi chief minister. The Delhi high court on Monday said “heavy costs should be imposed” on the petitioner as it transferred a plea filed by former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Sandeep Kumar seeking to dislodge Arvind Kejriwal from holding the post of Delhi chief minister, following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped excise policy case, to a bench led by acting chief justice Manmohan. A bench of justice Subramonium Prasad transferred the matter to a bench after taking note of the fact that two pleas seeking similar relief were heard and rejected by that bench. The court will hear the matter next on April 10."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 the Acting Chief Justice," he said. After transferring the petition, justice Prasad said, “I would have imposed heavy costs.” In his petition, Sandeep Kumar said after his arrest by the ED, Arvind Kejriwal has incurred an "incapacity" to carry out the chief minister's functions under the Constitution. The petition stated 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. The 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 news agency PTI reported citing petition. "Issue a writ of quo warranto against Respondent No.1 i.e. Mr 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 added. Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested by the probe agency on March 21, is currently lodged in Tihar Jail. Delhi high court already rejected two pleas The high court had earlier rejected two public interest litigation pleas seeking Arvind Kejriwal's removal from the chief minister's post. On April 4, a bench of acting chief justice Manmohan and justice Manmeet PS Arora refused to entertain a PIL on the issue, saying it was Arvind 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.