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Who authorised Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in protest at L-G office, asks Delhi high court 

Arvind Kejriwal and 3 AAP ministers have been camping at Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office since June 11, refusing to leave until the L-G makes IAS officers end an alleged strike.

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2018 14:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Delhi high court,Kejriwal protest
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with other AAP ministers during a sit-in protest at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office in New Delhi.(PTI File Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government who authorised chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office, observing it was not a place to protest.

Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, health minister Satyendar Jain, and development minister Gopal Rai have camped at Baijal’s waiting room since June 11, refusing to leave until the L-G makes IAS officers working in the Delhi government end an alleged strike.

“You are sitting inside the L-G’s office. If it’s a strike, it has to be outside the office,” said a bench comprising Justice A K Chawla and Justice Navin Chawla, reported news agency PTI.

Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, who represented the Delhi government, said Kejriwal and the three ministers took the decision to protest and the Constitution empowers them to do so. Nandrajog argued the only direction the court can give was to ask IAS officers to attend routine departmental meetings held by the ministers.

He said an association representing the IAS officers had admitted in a press conference on Sunday that they were not attending routine meetings.

The Central government rejected his statement and told the court that IAS officers were not on strike and the AAP ministers must be ordered to vacate Baijal’s office.

The court was hearing two petitions: one against Kejriwal’s protest and another against the alleged strike by the IAS officers. The court is likely to hear the two petitions and one filed by Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vijender Gupta, who is Leader of Opposition in the Delhi assembly, on June 22.

AAP leaders accompanied by thousands of party workers on Sunday marched towards the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence on Sunday in support of their ministers’ protest.

IAS officers have said they are not on strike and that there was an atmosphere of “fear” and “mistrust” in the bureaucracy in the national capital.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 12:04 IST