The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a public interest litigation plea seeking appropriate arrangements for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to run the Delhi government from jail, and penalised the petitioner — a lawyer — of ₹1 lakh.

Mr. Shrikant Prasad, an advocate, in his petition had sought direction from the court to allow Mr. Kejriwal facilities including the option to videoconference with his Cabinet Minister and members of the Delhi Assembly.

A Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet P.S. Arora said that Mr. Kejriwal had already approached the Supreme Court against his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, and “no orders were called for” with regard to providing him with any facilities while in judicial custody.

Mr. Prasad had also sought a direction to restrain news channels from “creating pressure and airing sensationalist headlines” related to the possible resignation of Mr. Kejriwal and imposing President’s Rule in Delhi.

“The conduct of the media as of today in this particular issue is very much prejudiced to the the citizens and public of Delhi,” his plea stated.

He also sought directions to stop Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva from “creating undue pressure by protest or statement by illegal means for the resignation of the Chief Minister”.

To this, the Bench said that it cannot gag the media or stop political rivals from making statements.

“Do we impose emergency? Do we impose censorship? Do we impose martial law? How do we gag the press or political rivals?” the Bench asked.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma said that the petition was “misconceived” and “filed with oblique motives”.

“Keep a bank draft of ₹1 lakh ready,” the court told Mr. Prasad.

The high court has been inundated with several pleas regarding Mr. Kejriwal since his arrest by the ED on March 21 in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22.

Last week, the court dismissed another plea to allow arrested undertrial political leaders to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections via virtual conference mode. The petitioner had said that Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest had “deprived” the electors of Delhi their right to get information from him during the ongoing election campaign.

On April 22, the court had dismissed a separate petition, filed by a law student, seeking “extraordinary interim bail” for Mr. Kejriwal, and had imposed on him a cost of ₹75,000.

It had also on April 10 imposed a cost of ₹50,000 on former AAP MLA Sandeep Kumar for filing a plea seeking the removal of Mr. Kejriwal from the post of Chief Minister.

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