AAP To Approach Delhi High Court To Designate Part Of Tihar Complex As Prison For Effective Governance

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plans a strategic move to secure enhanced facilities within the Tihar Complex for Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, who is currently in judicial custody

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plans to file a petition before the Delhi High Court. Their primary aim is to advocate for the designation of a specific area within the extensive Tihar Complex as a dedicated 'Prison' section. This endeavor is geared towards providing Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, with the necessary resources for effective governance, notably including access to video conferencing facilities.

Kejriwal, currently held in Judicial Custody for a duration of 15 days by the Rouse Avenue Court, is undergoing solitary confinement under Z+ security, with constant surveillance provided by four personnel for his protection, ensuring his isolated stay due to security considerations.

Stringent security measures both within and around Kejriwal's confinement area have been meticulously planned and implemented, owing to the unprecedented scenario of a sitting chief minister governing from within a correctional facility. Kejriwal's steadfast determination to maintain his position as Chief Minister, despite being incarcerated, underscores the extraordinary nature of the circumstances.

According to a report by the Economic Times, this strategic move by AAP draws inspiration from a precedent set by the case of Subrata Roy, a notable figure from the Sahara group, who, during his detention at Tihar jail, was granted authorization to utilize office facilities within the prison premises. Roy's objective was to conduct negotiations for the sale of his luxury hotels located in New York and London, a pivotal step in his efforts to secure funds for bail. Additionally, it was noted that Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra were also found to be operating an office from Tihar jail.

While the Jail Manual provides provisions for certain amenities for undertrial prisoners, such as legal defense, consultations with legal representatives or family members, signing of legal documents, execution of wills, arrangements for religious practices, applications for legal aid, and other government-approved facilities, the absence of provisions for video conferencing facilities and document endorsements is notable.

The effectiveness of AAP's strategic maneuver remains to be seen. However, since Kejriwal's initial arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), there has been mounting pressure from opposition parties urging for his removal from the Chief Ministerial post. Despite this, the Delhi High Court dismissed the plea, asserting the lack of substantive grounds for judicial intervention in the matter. Instead, the Court recognized the ongoing assessment being undertaken by the Lieutenant Governor (LG), with subsequent findings to be presented before the President. Such matters, the Court affirmed, lie beyond the purview of the judiciary, emphasizing the separation of powers within the democratic framework.