New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday virtually disapproved of the dharna, or sit-in demonstration led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at the lieutenant governor’s (L-G’s) office and asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government who had authorized such a protest.

The court did not issue any interim directions but observed that strikes are held outside and not inside someone’s workplace or residence.

The observation by a bench of justices A.K. Chawla and Navin Chawla came while hearing two petitions, one against Kejriwal’s protest and another against the alleged strike by IAS officers of the Delhi administration. The court listed the matter for further hearing on 22 June.

Kejriwal and his ministers have been staging a dharna at the L-G’s office since 11 June to press for their demands, including a direction to IAS officers to end their “strike" and action against those who have struck work.

“Who authorized the strike/dharna (sit-in by Kejriwal)? You are sitting inside the L-G’s office. If it’s a strike, it has to be outside the office. You cannot hold a strike inside someone’s office or residence," the court said.

Responding to the query by the bench, senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, who appeared for the Delhi government, said Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues took the decision to protest in their individual capacity and they were empowered to do so under the Constitution. Nandrajog also told the court that the only direction that can be issued by the bench in these matters was to the IAS officers to attend routine departmental meetings held by the ministers.

The central government told the court that no IAS officers were on strike and urged the bench to direct Kejriwal and others to vacate L-G Anil Baijal’s office. Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta also moved the high court on Monday against Kejriwal’s protest.

With inputs from PTI

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