In AAP vs Centre in Delhi, HC asks ‘who authorised Kejriwal to hold dharna at L-G residence’

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New Delhi | Updated: June 18, 2018 12:59:06 PM

Delhi High Court today pulled up Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his ongoing sit-in protest at the residence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

Arvind Kejriwal, Kejriwal sit in, kajriwan dharna, Aam Aadmi party, AAP government, Delhi government, Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Kumar Jain, Gopal Rai, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal residence, Raj NiwasArvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Kumar Jain and Gopal Rai during a sit-in protest at Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal?s residence in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

The Delhi High Court today pulled up Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his ongoing sit-in protest at the residence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, observing that nobody held the right to barge into someone’s office like this and hold a strike. “Who authorised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in at Lieutenant Governor’s office?” the High Court asked on Monday referring to Kejriwal’s sit-in along with three of his ministers that entered its eighth day today.

The AAP leaders have been demanding that the Centre to grant more powers to the Aam Aadmi Party government over the control of bureaucrats in the national capital. During the hearing, the Delhi government lawyer argued that IAS officers had yesterday accepted that they are not attending meetings called by ministers. To this, the HC said: “The thing is that you are sitting on a dharna. Who authorized them to sit on a dharna like this?

“It is an individual decision,” the city government lawyer replied. To this, the HC asked: “Is it authorized?” “This can’t be called a strike. You can’t go inside someone’s office or house and hold a strike there,” the HC bench of Justices AK Chawla and Navin Chawla observed, adding that strikes are usually held outside an establishment or office and not inside.

The observation came during the hearing of two petitions, one against the sit-in by Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal and the other against the alleged strike by the IAS officers of Delhi government.

Earlier in the day, BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijendra Gupta had moved the Delhi High Court seeking an order be passed to Kejriwal and others to end their strike and return to their offices.

Kejriwal along with his three cabinet colleagues have been holding a sit-in protest at L-G’s residence since last Monday demanding a directive be passed to the IAS officers to end their strike and start attending meetings convened by the ministers. Besides, they are demanding that approval be given to the city government’s doorstep delivery of ration and full statehood for Delhi.

The matters are likely to be heard on June 22. The court said the association representing the IAS officers should also be made a party in the matter.

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