Heavy costs should be imposed: Delhi High Court on plea to remove Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister [8.4.2024]

The Delhi High Court (HC) on Monday said the plea seeking the removal of Arvind Kejriwal from the Chief Minister (CM) post of the national capital was filed for "publicity" and "heavy costs" should be imposed on former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Sandeep Kumar. This was the third plea that was filed for Kejriwal's removal from the CM post.

Earlier, on April 4, a bench comprising acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet P S Arora declined to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the matter, stating that Kejriwal's continuation as chief minister was a matter of personal choice.

The bench had previously also dismissed a similar PIL, noting the petitioner's failure to demonstrate any legal impediment preventing the arrested chief minister from holding office. It was emphasised that judicial intervention was unwarranted, as this matter fell within the purview of other state organs.

Kejriwal has been remanded to judicial custody until April 15 in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam. He is currently lodged at Tihar Jail.

The Delhi chief minister was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of corruption in the Delhi excise policy case.

"Arvind Kejriwal has also been intrinsically involved in the entire conspiracy of the Delhi liquor scam, wherein the policy was drafted and implemented in a manner wherein certain private persons were favoured and benefitted in a quid pro quo of receiving kickbacks," news agency PTI quoted the probe agency as saying in its remand.

For the first time in independent India, a serving chief minister has been arrested. The arrest follows Kejriwal's repeated failure to appear before the investigation agency, despite nine summonses, which he deemed "illegal."

The case pertains to alleged irregularities and money laundering in framing and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy 2022, which was later scrapped.

Former deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh were also arrested in connection with the case. However, Singh has been granted bail following a directive from the Supreme Court.

08 Apr 2024