Can Arvind Kejriwal continue as CM from Tihar Jail? Here's what experts say | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Can Arvind Kejriwal continue as CM from Tihar Jail? Here's what experts say

Apr 02, 2024 08:56 AM IST

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was remanded to judicial custody till April 15. He is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

As a Delhi court sent Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15, legal experts weighed in on his arrest, saying that it is “practically impossible” for him to continue as the Delhi chief minister from inside jail.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves from ED office for the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi on Monday. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)(HT_PRINT)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves from ED office for the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi on Monday. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)(HT_PRINT)

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was remanded to judicial custody till April 15. He is currently lodged in Tihar Jail. While there is no bar either in the Constitution or in law which prohibits him from running a government while in prison, it is "practically impossible" to continue, they said.

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Asked whether Kejriwal can continue as the chief minister post his judicial custody, senior advocate Ajit Sinha told PTI: "There is no specific provision in the Constitution barring a person continuing as the chief minister once incarcerated, but it is practically impossible."

Read more: 'Is Sunita Kejriwal new Delhi CM?': BJP's Bansuri Swaraj attacks AAP

The views of the legal experts are in line with the decision of the Delhi High Court, which said that no provisions can bar Kejriwal from running a government while in custody. The high court further said that executive authorities would act in case there is a constitutional failure.

Senior advocate and former SCBA president Vikas Singh told PTI that running a government from inside jail is “practically impossible”, as Kejriwal will have to seek permission from the court for every action he proposes. The Delhi CM will also not be able to summon any cabinet meetings.

Citing the example of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, advocate Ajit Sinha said that initially, it was the view that Bihar government could be run from jail. However, Yadav made his wife Rabri Devi his successor.

Read more: Kejriwal sent to judicial custody in Tihar till April 15

Sinha further said the makers of the Constitution did not envision a scenario wherein sitting CM is incarcerated.

‘No bar in running government from jail’

Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan told PTI that there is no bar in law on a person continuing as chief minister once arrested, which means that Kejriwal can continue to be the Delhi CM.

“As per the Representation of the People Act, it is only after a conviction that an MLA can be treated as disqualified and, therefore, disentitled to be a minister. Although unprecedented, it is technically possible for him to function from jail," he said.

Read more: Delhi excise case: ED acting as 'persecuting agency', K Kavitha's lawyer tells court

On Monday, Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court sent Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15. The AAP national convener is not planning to tender his resignation, the party said.

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