Press Trust of india

SC no to urgent hearing of plea against Kejriwal sit-in at LG office

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New Delhi, Jun 19 :  The Supreme Court today refused urgent hearing on a plea seeking its direction to declare as “unconstitutional” the sit-in of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues inside the Lieutenant Governor’s office here.

Kejriwal and his ministers have been staging the sit-in at LG Anil Baijal’s office since June 11 evening to press for their demands, including a direction to IAS officers to end their “strike” and action against those who have struck work.

A vacation bench comprising justices S A Nazeer and Indu Malhotra said the plea would be listed for hearing after the summer vacation.

Lawyer Shashank Sudhi, appearing for petitioner Hari Nath Ram, sought the urgent hearing of the plea, saying a constitutional crisis has been created due to “the unconstitutional and illegal” protest by the chief minister inside the LG’s office.

The lawyer said the Delhi High Court, which had heard the matters on the issue yesterday, has now posted them for hearing on June 22 and that the city is facing an “emergency situation” due to a severe water crisis.

“We will list it on reopening of the court,” the bench said, while declining the request for urgent hearing.

The plea has sought directions to the chief minister and the AAP government to discharge their responsibilities.

It has also sought to declare the hunger strike called by Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues as unconstitutional and illegal.

Ram, in his plea said that taxpayer’s money was being wasted for the constitutional bargain by the chief minister from the LG and Kejriwal was flouting the fundamental law of the country despite having taken an oath under the Constitution.

“It is equally settled law that the person who had taken the oath under the Constitution, is enjoined to follow the constitutional postulates and mandates. However, the chief minister of NCT of Delhi is not holding the administrative works, which are the cardinal function of the chief minister to govern the state under the rule of law,” the plea said.

Ram said the strike is normally called by an employee against the lawmaker to provide for their redressal of grievances as per their existing law.

There is no statutory or legal provision empowering the chief minster to go on the strike, he said, adding that, it was a complete violation of the ministerial responsibility.

“It is submitted that the strike is weapon that empowers the disempowered to fight in oppressive cases when no constructive option is left. It is weapon of the last resort taken out of exasperation. It is this weapon which provides an opportunity for collective bargaining,” he said in his plea.

The petition said that the confrontation between the chief minister and LG is a grim example of how politics has crept into governance of the state.

The state is fully crippled by administrative paralysis as the state is having no constitutional administrator in respect to the area covered under the state list. It is submitted that the vacuum created by the hunger strike required to be constitutionally dealt to protect the constitution of the country,” Ram said.

Besides seeking the sit-in be declared unconstitutional, the plea also requested initiation of perjury proceedings against either the chief minister or the office of the LG claiming that one of them is lying.

The chief minister has been claiming that the IAS officers are on strike, but the LG’s office has asserted that the officers are very much on the job, the lawyer said.

The high court had virtually disapproved the sit-in led by Kejriwal at the LG’s office and asked the AAP government who had authorised such a protest.

The high court was seized of several petitions including the one filed by Ram and has now posted them for further hearing on June 22.

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