The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that sought to declare his hunger strike outside the lieutenant governor’s office in June last year unconstitutional, ANI reported.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, after hearing the petition, said, “Chief minister of Delhi goes on hunger strike and you want us to pass order? Dismissed.”
On June 11 last year, Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain and Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai started a sit-in protest at Lieutenant Governor’s Anil Baijal’s office, alleging that Indian Administrative Service officers in the Capital had been on strike for the past four months. They sought Baijal’s intervention and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of instructing bureaucrats to hamper the Delhi government’s work.
Petitioner Hari Nath Ram claimed that the ministers’ sit-in had led to a constitutional crisis in the city, leaving the citizens “high and dry”. The petition had asked the Supreme Court to initiate perjury proceedings against either Kejriwal or Baijal’s office for lying. It had also asked the top court to issue directions to Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party government to discharge their responsibilities instead of wasting taxpayers’ money, NDTV reported.
“There is no statutory or legal provision empowering the chief minster to go on the strike,” the petition said. “It is a complete violation of ministerial responsibility.” The petitioner had even sought an urgent hearing in the case, which was turned down by the top court.
The Delhi High Court had also rebuked the government, asking who authorised the hunger strike.