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'Not a fundamental right': ED opposes Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's bail plea in liquor scam
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Arvind Kejriwal

'Not a fundamental right': ED opposes Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's bail plea in liquor scam

| @indiablooms | 09 May 2024, 07:54 pm

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday challenged interim bail for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, arguing that the right to campaign for elections was "not fundamental," media reports said.

In an affidavit filed by ED's Deputy Director Bhanu Priya, the Central financial frauds probe agency opposed Kejriwal’s bail, reported India Today.

The ED submitted its argument a day before the Supreme Court is set to declare its decision on the Delhi CM’s bail plea in the Delhi liquor policy case.

"The right to campaign for an election is not a fundamental, constitutional or legal right. To ED's knowledge, no political leader has been granted interim bail for campaigning even though he is not the contesting candidate," the affidavit read, reported India Today.

ED pointed out that earlier Kejriwal used the same grounds to ignore summons for interrogation in the alleged scam

It also underscored that a politician could not be arrested and kept under judicial custody if released under bail for poll campaigning.

The report said that the ED is also set to file its maiden chargesheet against Kejriwal in the case, marking his first inclusion in the list of accused.

"Around 123 elections have taken place in the past three years and if interim bail is granted for election campaigning then no politician can be arrested and kept in judicial custody since elections take place all year round," the ED said.

"Any special concession in Kejriwal’s favour granting interim bail for campaigning in the general election would amount to anathema to the rule of law and equality," it added.

All "unscrupulous" politicians would be permitted to commit crimes and avoid investigation under the garb of elections, the ED further added.

It also said that Arvind Kejriwal or any other politician cannot cannot claim a special status higher than that of an ordinary citizen.

"It will create two separate classes in the country viz. ordinary people who are bound by the rule of law as well as the laws of the country and politicians who can seek exemption from the laws with the hope of securing interim bail to campaign for elections," the affidavit read.

The investigating agency further contended that politicians have stood for elections while in judicial custody and have emerged victorious, yet interim bail was never granted. Additionally, it noted that numerous politicians could be in judicial custody across the nation for non-PMLA offenses as well.

On March 21, the Delhi Chief Minister was apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case from his official residence in Delhi.

The central investigative agency asserts that he played a central role in the scam and was directly implicated in soliciting kickbacks from liquor barons.

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