New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought to know from the AAP government as to who has authorised Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministerial colleagues to hold a sit-in protest at the Lt. Governor’s office as it was not the place to hold a demonstration.
A vacation bench of Justice A.K. Chawla and Justice Navin Chawla said: “If it is a strike or dharna, it has to be somewhere else. This can’t be called a strike.”
The bench said that protesters cannot go inside someone’s office or house and hold a strike and as such strike cannot be inside the Lt Governor’s office.
Kejriwal with his deputy Manish Sisodia and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai have been camping in the Raj Niwas, the official accommodation-cum-office of Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, since June 11.
Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said it was an “individual decision” and the AAP leaders were not preventing or blocking any official work inside the Lt. Governor’s office and that IAS officers, in a press conference, have accepted that they are not attending meetings called upon by the ministers.
The bench was hearing three separate petitions related to Kejriwal’s sit-in protest at the Lt. Governor’s office.
A fresh petition was filed by Leader of Opposition in assembly, Vijender Gupta seeking direction to Kejriwal to return to work.
The second petition was filed by city awyer Hari Nath Ram through his advocates Shashank Deo Sudhi and Shashi Bhushan seeking to declare the sit-in protest at the Lt. Governor’s office by Kejriwal and the others unconstitutional and illegal.
On the other hand, a plea filed by advocate Umesh Gupta sought to end the alleged ‘informal strike’ by IAS officers.
The high court has posted all the cases for further hearing on Friday.
Kejriwal has said he and his colleagues would not leave Baijal’s office until their demands, which include direction to IAS officers to end their “strike”, action against officers who have struck work for “four months” and approval to his government’s proposal for doorstep delivery of ration to the poor were met.