HC slams repeated pleas for removal of Kejriwal as CM

| | New Delhi
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HC slams repeated pleas for removal of Kejriwal as CM

Thursday, 11 April 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over repeated filing of petitions seeking the removal of AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal from the post of the chief minister after his arrest. A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan pulled up petitioner Sandeep Kumar, a former AAP MLA who sought the removal of Kerjiwal from the office, for trying to involve the court in a “political thicket” and said it will impose costs of Rs 50,000 on him.  “This is not like a James Bond movie where we will have sequels. (Lt) Governor will take a call on this. You are trying to involve us in a political thicket, that’s all,” remarked the court.

The court said once it has dealt with the issue and opined that it fell in the executive domain, there should not be any “repeat litigation” as it was not a James Bond movie that will have sequels.  The bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet P S Arora, reiterated that it cannot impose governor’s rule in the capital.

Observing that the petitioner was “making a mockery of the system”, the court said, “Rs 50,000 costs on you. We will pass the order.”

On March 28, the court had dismissed a PIL for Kejriwal’s removal, saying that while the petitioner had failed to show any legal bar that prohibited the arrested chief minister from holding office, there was also no scope for judicial interference in such cases as it was for the other organs of the State to look into the issue.  It also said it cannot declare a breakdown of the constitutional machinery in the national capital.

On April 4, the court had refused to entertain a second PIL on the issue and said it was Kejriwal’s personal choice to continue as the chief minister and granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the lieutenant governor (LG).

On Wednesday, Kumar’s counsel argued that his case required interpretation of the Constitution and that on account of his arrest in a money laundering case, Kejriwal was now not qualified to hold the office of the chief minister.

Justice Manmohan said if there was a grievance, an appeal should have been filed against the earlier decisions instead of filing a third petition on the same issue.

As the petitioner’s lawyer continued to argue and questioned where he must go if the government was not according to the Constitution, the court told him not to make political speeches.

Please don’t give a political speech here. Go to a corner of the street and do it over there. Please don’t do that. Your client may be a politician and he may like to get involved in politics but we are not involved in politics. We stay out of politics,” said Justice Manmohan.

“You are making a mockery of the system. Don’t reduce us to a joke. It is only because of people like you, your client, that we are reduced to a joke. We are imposing some heavy costs on you. Please don’t come back with repeat litigation,” added the judge.

The court further said the petitioner was “persisting” in spite of the remarks made by a single judge while dealing with his petition earlier this week and said imposition of costs was the only way to “take care” of the petitions that are coming up on a “daily basis”.

This is enough. Look at the court. The court is packed with litigants. Have some courtesy,” the court said.

Kumar’s petition was listed before the acting chief justice’s bench after it was transferred to it from Justice Subramonium Prasad’s court.

While dealing with the petition on April 8, Justice Prasad had said it was filed for “publicity” and “heavy costs” should be imposed for it.

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