The Delhi High Court on Friday remarked that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was prioritising personal gain over national interest by continuing on the post despite being jailed, Live Law reported.

The court observed that the Delhi government was only interested in the appropriation of power and that nothing was working on the ground.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora was hearing a public interest litigation about children in municipal schools in Delhi not getting books, uniforms and writing material. The petition was filed by non-governmental organisation Social Jurist.

During a previous hearing, the commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi told the court that educational material and uniforms had not been provided to students because standing committees in the civic body had not been formed. The official said that only the standing committee can award contracts worth over Rs 5 crore, Bar and Bench reported.

Lawyer Shadan Farasat, representing the Delhi government, said he was told by Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj that in the absence of the standing committee, delegating more power to another authority would need the permission of the chief minister, who is in jail in the liquor policy case.

In response, Acting Chief Justice Manmohan said it was the Delhi administration’s decision that the government would continue to run even if Kejriwal was in prison.

“We have said it politely that national interest will come supreme,” the judge said. “But your client has kept personal interest at the highest.”

The court remarked that the Delhi government did not appear to be bothered about students not going to schools or not having textbooks.

“All that you are interested in is power,” it said. “This is arrogance of power at its highest.”

The bench said it would have to take note of what was happening in the House of the Delhi government.

“How much power you people can appropriate to yourself?” it asked, according to Live Law. “How interested is your client to get power? What is the point of all this?”

In a statement issued after the High Court hearing, Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party said that the subject of standing committees not being formed was before the Supreme Court, PTI reported.

“The LG [Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena] illegally appointed aldermen [nominated councillors],” the party said. “As a result, the standing committee could not be formed. The LG is responsible for the non-formation of the standing committee due to which the work of the MCD was stopped.”