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Is it possible for Kejriwal to govern Delhi from Tihar Jail? Prison guidelines suggest otherwise

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Can Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is presently in judicial custody in Tihar Jail in connection with the excise policy case, run the government from prison?

According to the prison manual, an under-trial prisoner like Kejriwal is only allowed to write letters to family members, relatives, close friends, and counsels from inside the jail. The restrictions also apply to signing certain categories of documents.

A senior prison official stated that inmates under judicial custody, including Kejriwal, can sign only legal documents related to property matters and not documents with political implications. This comes in response to claims by AAP leaders that Kejriwal will continue his government role while in jail.

The AAP has announced that the Chief Minister intends to conduct weekly reviews with two ministers in the prison to monitor progress in their departments. However, the jail manual specifies that an MLA can communicate only with the Speaker of the House from prison.

Rule No. 628 of the 2018 prison manual states, “All communications by a prisoner who is a member of the state Assembly or Parliament shall be forwarded to the government to deal with it in accordance with the prisoner’s rights and privileges as a Member of the House.” Prisoners are allowed to write letters only to family members, close friends, and legal counsels.

Kejriwal has been communicating with AAP MLAs, leaders, and workers through his wife Sunita Kejriwal since his judicial custody began on April 1. He had issued directions to his council of ministers during his Enforcement Directorate custody, which started on March 21. Kejriwal is currently housed in Jail No. 2 in Tihar.


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