Kejriwal’s Arrest Sparks Disqualification Pleas: Decoding Constitutional Grounds for Removal of MPs

On April 8th, 2024, the Supreme Court of India found itself entangled in a legal tussle between Sandeep Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal, among others. This captivating case unfolded when a former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA dared to petition the court to unseat Arvind Kejriwal from his esteemed position as Chief Minister of Delhi. The catalyst? Kejriwal’s recent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on alleged money laundering charges linked to the Delhi excise policy scam. With the Delhi High Court swiftly stepping into the fray and openly critiquing the move, the nation observed with keen interest as this development ignited widespread discussions, inviting intense scrutiny of the constitutional provisions guiding MPs’ removal. The burning question on everyone’s lips: Does Kejriwal’s arrest indeed warrant his disqualification?

As the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sends shockwaves through the political landscape, a flurry of petitions has flooded the courts, seeking his disqualification and removal from office. Yet, the higher judiciary’s reluctance to entertain these pleas raises a pertinent constitutional query – what exactly are the grounds for the disqualification or removal of a Chief Minister or Member of Parliament (MP) under Indian law? Let’s embark on a journey through the provisions enshrined in the Constitution and other relevant statutes to unravel the complexities surrounding this pressing issue.



The Delhi High Court has scheduled a hearing for April 10 on a plea filed by former Aam Aadmi Party MLA Sandeep Kumar, seeking the removal of Arvind Kejriwal from the post of Chief Minister of Delhi. Kejriwal is presently in judicial custody due to an Enforcement Directorate case related to the excise policy. Justice Subramonium Prasad questioned Kumar’s plea and suggested heavy fines for him, questioning how a writ of quo warranto could be issued against Kejriwal. The court noted that similar petitions had been rejected before and referred the matter to a division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan. Kumar’s plea seeks a writ of quo warranto against Kejriwal, questioning his authority to hold office. He argues that Kejriwal’s incapacity to function as Chief Minister violates citizens’ constitutional rights. Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 and remanded to judicial custody until April 15. The court stated that the issue does not warrant judicial interference and is for other state organs to examine.


The disqualification of members of parliament (MPs) in India is a critical aspect of ensuring the integrity and accountability of the legislative process. Governed by various provisions of the Constitution of India and related laws, the criteria for disqualification encompass a range of factors aimed at upholding democratic principles and preventing abuse of power. In this article, we delve into the constitutional provisions and legal frameworks that dictate the disqualification of MPs, shedding light on the significance and implications of these regulations.

Constitutional Provisions:

Article 102 of the Constitution of India serves as a cornerstone in delineating the grounds for disqualification of MPs. It outlines specific conditions under which an individual may face disqualification, including holding an office of profit under the government, mental incapacity, insolvency, and disqualification under any law enacted by Parliament. Additionally, Article 101 empowers Parliament to enact laws pertaining to disqualification based on defection, further reinforcing the constitutional framework governing MPs’ eligibility.

Legal Framework:

The Representation of the People Act, 1951, supplements the constitutional provisions by defining eligibility criteria and disqualifications for MP candidacy. Section 8 of the Act enumerates various disqualifications, including convictions for specified offenses and involvement in corrupt practices. Furthermore, the Anti-Defection Law, introduced through the 52nd Amendment Act of 1985, addresses defection-related disqualifications, setting forth conditions under which MPs may be disqualified for defection from their political party.

Landmark Judgments:

The Supreme Court’s pivotal ruling in Kihoto Hollohan v. Zachillhu and Others (1992) solidified the legal framework surrounding defection-related disqualifications. Upholding the validity of the Tenth Schedule, the court provided interpretative guidance and delineated parameters for the application of anti-defection provisions. This landmark judgment serves as a cornerstone in shaping the jurisprudence governing MPs’ disqualification on grounds of defection.

In essence, the disqualification of MPs in India is governed by a comprehensive framework comprising constitutional provisions, legislative enactments, and judicial precedents. By delineating clear criteria and mechanisms for disqualification, these legal frameworks play a pivotal role in upholding the integrity and efficacy of parliamentary democracy. As the legal landscape continues to evolve, a nuanced understanding of these provisions is imperative for ensuring accountability and transparency within the legislative domain.


In conclusion, the recent arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ignited a debate around the grounds for disqualification or removal of elected representatives under the Indian Constitution. While several petitions seek Kejriwal’s removal, it’s crucial to understand the constitutional provisions governing such actions.

As elucidated by Articles 102 and 191, disqualification of MPs and MLAs is subject to specific grounds, including conviction in criminal cases. However, the mere arrest or filing of charges doesn’t automatically disqualify them. The Supreme Court has consistently emphasized the importance of due process and refrained from disqualifying legislators solely based on pending criminal cases.

Regarding the removal of a Chief Minister, there’s no direct constitutional provision. CMs must maintain the confidence of the legislative assembly and can be ousted through loss of majority support or other circumstances like resignation or death.

As the legal saga unfolds, it’s imperative to stay attuned to the constitutional principles guiding such matters. While Kejriwal’s arrest alone may not lead to his disqualification, the controversy underscores the need for electoral reforms to address concerns surrounding candidates facing serious criminal charges.

In essence, the evolving legal landscape surrounding Kejriwal’s arrest prompts a deeper examination of democratic principles and the rule of law. Stay tuned as AMA Legal Solutions delves further into the legal intricacies behind the headlines.