Delhi HC Rejects PIL Seeking Virtual Elections Campaigning for Jailed Politicians


The Delhi High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Wednesday, which sought direction to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to immediately develop a mechanism allowing jailed political leaders and candidates to campaign virtually with reasonable restrictions.

The Bench

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, remarked that such a move could potentially allow dreaded criminals like Dawood Ibrahim to form political parties and campaign through video conferencing, stating that even rapists and murderers might exploit this avenue. Additionally, the bench, including noted awareness of the propaganda behind such petitions and their recent experience with frivolous pleas, wherein costs were imposed on petitioners.

Who filed the PIL?

The PIL, filed by Law Student Amarjeet Gupta, highlighted a representation sent on April 2, 2024, urging the respondents to cease arresting Chief Ministers, Party Leaders, Cabinet Ministers, and Candidates (for both Lok Sabha and Assembly Constituencies) post the declaration of the Model Code of Conduct. It also requested the establishment of a mechanism to eliminate the necessity for enforcement agencies to seek permission from the Election Commission of India for arrests.

Furthermore, it sought immediate notification to the Election Commission of India regarding arrests deemed urgent for national security, such as offenses under the UAPA.

Moreover, the plea urged compliance with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Office Memorandum (OM) dated December 1, 2011, reiterated in the OM dated March 15, 2021, directing all government officials, including the respondents, to acknowledge and respond to communications from the public.

Recently, the High Court dismissed several PILs related to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), imposing costs on petitioners. The court emphasized Kejriwal’s access to legal remedies and the equality of law, underscoring the lack of substance in the petitioners’ claims.


Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the ED in connection with an excise policy case, with the ED alleging the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as the primary beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the alleged liquor scam.

Read More: Supreme CourtDelhi High CourtStates High CourtOther CourtsInternational

Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte