SC Rejects Petition Seeking Removal of Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi Chief Minister Despite ED Arrest

SC Rejects Petition Seeking Removal of Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi Chief Minister Despite ED Arrest

Today the Supreme Court rejected a petition that called for the removal of Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi and leader of the Aam Aadmi Party. The petition was based on Kejriwal's arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the liquor policy case.

The bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta stated that they were not inclined to intervene with the Delhi High Court's decision to dismiss the plea for removing Kejriwal as Delhi's Chief Minister. They noted that the petitioner before the Supreme Court, Kant Bhati, was not the same individual who had filed the petition before the High Court.

The case originated from a public interest litigation filed by Sandeep Kumar before the Delhi High Court. In this PIL, Kumar sought a writ of quo warranto against Kejriwal, questioning the authority, qualifications, and title by which Kejriwal continued to hold the position of Chief Minister of Delhi under Article 239AA of the Constitution. Additionally, the PIL aimed to remove the AAP leader from the office of Chief Minister following an inquiry.

The petitioner argued that due to Kejriwal's judicial custody in the Delhi Liquor Policy case, he had become incapable of fulfilling his constitutional duties and functions under Articles 239AA (4), 167(b), and (c) of the Constitution. Therefore, according to the petitioner, Kejriwal was no longer able to serve as the Chief Minister.

On April 10, the High Court dismissed this PIL and imposed a cost of Rs.50,000, stating that it appeared to be aimed at seeking publicity. The court observed that the petitioner continued to pursue the petition despite being aware of three previous orders by the court denying similar prayers. 

It is worthwhile to mention that the Supreme Court recently granted Kejriwal benefit of interim release from judicial custody till June 1.

Case Title: KANT BHATI Versus ARVIND KEJRIWAL AND ORS., Diary No. 19252-2024

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