All rules have to be broken for Arvind Kejriwal to perform CM’s duties from Tihar jail: Expert

Arvind Kejriwal news: While the Delhi chief minister has issued two orders from jail, former Tihar Jail officials explain the challenges he can face in the long run. “Running a government does not mean simply signing the files,” one expert said.

Written By Akriti Anand
Updated1 Apr 2024
An Enforcement Directorate team leaves with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal from the investigation agency's office to Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi, on Monday, April 1.
An Enforcement Directorate team leaves with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal from the investigation agency’s office to Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi, on Monday, April 1. (Hindustan Times)

Former Tihar Jail public relations officer Sunil Kumar Gupta on Monday said that it would be extremely challenging for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to run the government from jail. “All the rules have to be broken for it,” Gupta pointed out.

His statement came after Kejriwal was taken to Delhi's Tihar Jail following a city court's order sending him to judicial custody till April 15. Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 in connection with the money laundering cases linked to the Delhi government's now-scrapped excise policy.

Kejriwal, who has not resigned as the chief minister yet, has maintained that he will run his government while being lodged in the jail. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders also reiterated that Kejriwal will not resign and continue to work from jail.

Kejriwal had even issued his first order as CM from jail on March 24. According to reports, he had issued an order to the water department of the Delhi government. Later, Delhi cabinet leader Atishi Marlena said Kejriwal instructed her to solve water- and sewer-related problems in some areas of the city.

ALSO READ: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal issues 2nd order from jail, this time regarding health dept

Experts on running govt from jail

However, experts said leading a government from jail can be "extremely challenging".

Former Tihar Jail official Sunil Kumar Gupta told news agency ANI that to run a government from jail, there has to be personal staff with the CM. But “as of now, there are 16 jails and there is no such facility in any of them where a Chief Ministership can run from.”

He said all the rules have to be broken for it. "No one would allow the breaking of so many rules...," he added. " It is impossible to create a CM's office in a jail," Gupta said.

"Running a government does not mean simply signing the files... To run a government, cabinet meetings are called, ministers are consulted, and there is a lot of staff, there are meetings or telephone conversations with the L-G [lieutenant governor]," Gupta said.

ALSO READ: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal mentioned Atishi during investigation-- ED tells court why

He further informed that the jail does not have a telephone facility. "The public comes to meet a CM for the redressal of their grievances...Prisoners in jail can speak to their families every day for 5 minutes and all of it is recorded..."

'Easier way to run govt from jail'

Gupta, however, suggested an easier way to run the government while remaining in custody.

Citing jail rules, Sunil Gupta told NDTV that any area can be declared a jail. It can be a house or even a stadium. The power is in the hands of the Lieutenant Governor (Vinai Kumar Saxena) to declare any building a jail.

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