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He breached the constitution: Hindu Sena President files new petition in Delhi HC seeking removal of Arvind Kejriwal from the post of chief minister

The fresh PIL submitted that Arvind Kejriwal is guilty of breach of Constitutional trust reposed in him by the Constitution.

The Hindu Sena on 29th March filed a fresh petition in the Delhi High Court against Aam Aadmi Party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, seeking his removal from the Chief Minister’s post. Hindu Sena’s National President and social worker Vishnu Gupta filed the appeal, requesting that the court direct Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor to remove Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from his position and administer Delhi via the LG on behalf of the union government.

According to the recently filed Public Interest Litigation, Arvind Kejriwal abused the constitutional trust placed in him by the Indian Constitution since the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him for a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) offence. The plea highlighted, “The parliamentary democracy is the basis feature of the Indian Constitution and Chief Minister being the head of the State Government he is a repository of constitutional responsibilities and trust. If the Chief Minister acts in a manner which offence rule of law and commits a breach of the constitutional trust reposed in him.”

It conveyed, “In that eventuality, his dismissal from the Office of Chief Minister is inhibited in Article -164 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, Respondent No.4 (Arvind Kejriwal) is guilty of breach of constitutional trust for allegation of corruption and consequently his arrest.”

The plea read, “Since, Arvind Kejriwal as a Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi is in the custody of the Enforcement of Directorate till date. Since he is implicated in a serious offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act and as a result of it he has been arrested by the investigating agency under the PMLA. Therefore, he is no longer eligible under any law to continue as the Chief Minister after his arrest i.e. 21.03.2024.”

It mentioned, “The Constitution of India did not visualize a situation where in the event of arrest the Chief Minister can run his government either from judicial custody or from Police custody. However, it is not settled law that constitutional courts can interfere with the provisions of the Constitution to ensure purity in administration and governance.”

Manoj Narula v. Union of India was cited in the application which further stated, “The Hon’ble Supreme Court has been pleased to observe that, in a democracy, the people never intend to be governed by persons who have criminal antecedents. This is not merely a hope and aspiration of the citizenry but the idea is also engrained in the apposite executive governance. It would be apt to say that when a country is governed by a Constitution, apart from constitutional provisions, and principles of constitutional morality and trust, certain conventions are adopted and grown.”

The plea pointed out that Arvind Kejriwal violated the constitutional trust placed in him by the Indian Constitution as soon as he was taken into custody concerning the case which was filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Therefore, he should have resigned prior to being placed under arrest by the investigating agency following constitutional morals. However, Arvind Kejriwal decided to remain the Chief Minister and lead the administration from either judicial or police custody.

It noted, “Be it as it may the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister is in violation of constitutional trust which is inhibited in Article 164 of the Constitution of India as explained in the case of B.R. Kapur v. State of Tamil Nadu 2001(7) SCC 231. Therefore, the Governor is under constitutional obligation to dismiss Arvind Kejriwal from the office of Chief Minister.”

In addition, the plea asserted that aside from being under the custody of the central investigative agency, the Delhi government has not been enforcing Articles 154, 162, and 163 since 21st March (the day of the arrest), because there have been no cabinet meetings to support and counsel the governor in the performance of his executive duties.

It affirmed, “The Governor in accordance with Constitution is the basis structure of the Constitution of India and parliamentary democracy and if this situation has arisen where Constitution is not working, in that eventuality Writ of Mandamus may be issued to the Respondents for taking actions to implement the Constitutional Scheme for working of the Constitution of India,”

The petition demanded that Arvind Kejriwal be removed from his position and provided examples of multiple verdicts to support its arguments. Notably on 28th March, a division bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan dismissed a PIL of a similar nature, observing that the petitioner, Surjit Singh Yadav, had not demonstrated that there was a legal obstacle preventing the imprisoned chief minister from maintaining office. The bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet PS Arora announced, “It is for the other wings of the government to examine in accordance with the law.”

“There may be difficulties. It will be practically very very difficult. We accept all that. (But) Is there any scope for judicial interference in this, on this issue,” the court asked and added, “This court is of the view that there is no scope for judicial interference vis-a-vis the relief sought for removal of respondent no. 4. It is for the other wings of the government to examine in accordance with the law.”

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