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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal arrest

Delhi CM

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been arrested recently by the Directorate of Enforcement over the Delhi liquor policy case. The article discusses the debates on governance feasibility, legal perspectives, and potential impacts on Delhi’s unique governance structure.

What is the Context?

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) due to his failure to respond to nine summonses related to the Delhi liquor policy case. This arrest follows the High Court’s rejection of his plea for protection against arrest. Kejriwal’s arrest comes shortly after Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren faced a similar fate in January 2024 over corruption allegations.

Feasibility of Governance While Detained:

While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members have voiced their support for Kejriwal continuing his governance duties while detained, concerns arise regarding the feasibility and legality of this arrangement. Delhi government minister Atishi has confirmed that Kejriwal will not resign from his position. However, the Constitution does not grant Chief Ministers immunity from arrest, and disqualification only occurs upon conviction.

Legal Perspective:

There is no legal mandate for a Chief Minister to resign upon arrest. He cited the example of former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav, who appointed his wife as CM during his arrest. The Representation of the People Act, 1951 outlines conditions for disqualification, which require a conviction for specific offenses.

Governance Structure and Possible Outcomes:

Delhi’s unique governance structure, with an elected Chief Minister and a Lieutenant Governor appointed by the Centre, complicates the situation. If Kejriwal is unable to continue as CM, the Lieutenant Governor could seek Presidential intervention, potentially leading to the imposition of President’s rule in Delhi.

Historical Precedents:

Historically, Chief Ministers have faced legal challenges during their tenures. Kejriwal’s arrest adds to this history, joining the ranks of Hemant Soren, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and J. Jayalalithaa.

Conclusion:

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal arrest raises questions about the feasibility of governing while detained and the potential impact on Delhi’s governance. While the legal framework allows for Chief Ministers to continue their duties until conviction, the practical challenges and political implications remain significant. The unique governance structure of Delhi further adds complexity to the situation, with potential outcomes ranging from Kejriwal’s continued governance to the imposition of President’s rule.

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