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SC junks plea for Kejriwal’s removal as chief minister

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New Delhi, May 13: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking removal of Arvind Kejriwal as the Delhi chief minister after his arrest in a money laundering case, holding that the petitioner had no legal right to seek his ouster.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said resignation in such circumstances is a matter of propriety but there is no legal right to seek removal of Kejriwal as the chief minister following his arrest.
“What is the legal right? On propriety you may certainly have something to say, but there is no legal right. It’s up to the LG (Lieutenant Governor) to take action if he wants to. We are not inclined to entertain this (petition),” the bench told petitioner Kant Bhati’s counsel.
The bench, while dismissing the appeal challenging the April 10 order of the Delhi High Court said, “When the matter (Kejriwal’s petition against arrest) was being heard, we had posed the same question to them. Ultimately, it is a matter of propriety and there is no legal right.” It pointed out that several petitions on the issue have been dismissed by the high court.
On April 10, the high court had expressed its displeasure over repeated filing of petitions seeking Kejriwal’s removal.
The court said once it had dealt with the issue and opined that it fell within the executive domain, there should not be any “repeat litigation” as it was not a “James Bond movie that will have sequels”.
It had pulled up petitioner Sandeep Kumar, a former AAP MLA, who sought Kejriwal’s ouster 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.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday claimed he will be back from the Tihar jail on June 5 if the INDIA bloc comes to power after the election results are announced even as he alleged that efforts were made to break and humiliate him during his prison stay.
Arrested in a money laundering case linked to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, Kejriwal has been granted interim bail by the Supreme Court till June 1 to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections. He will have to surrender and go back to jail on June 2.
June 1 is the last day of the seven-phase elections and the votes will be counted on June 4.
Addressing his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillors, Kejriwal said he was under CCTV surveillance and 13 officers were monitoring the feed. (PTI)

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