ED opposes bail to Arvind Kejriwal: 'Right to campaign not fundamental'

'Right to campaign not fundamental right': Enforcement Directorate opposes bail to Arvind Kejriwal
ED opposes bail to Arvind Kejriwal: 'Right to campaign not fundamental'
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday opposed interim bail for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the probe agency said that the right to campaign for elections was "not fundamental".

The affidavit was filed by ED's Deputy Director Bhanu Priya today, a day before the Supreme Court is set to hear Arvind Kejriwal's interim 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.

The central probe agency also contended that no politician could be arrested and kept in judicial custody if they are granted interim bail for poll campaigning.

"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 crime and avoid investigation under the garb of elections, the ED further added.

It also said that Arvind Kejriwal or any other politician cannot can claim no 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 probe agency also argued that politicians have contested elections while in judicial custody and have won, but were never granted interim bail. It also said that several politicians might be in judicial custody throughout the country in non-PMLA offences too.

The Delhi Chief Minister was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the Delhi liquor policy case from his official residence in Delhi on March 21. The central probe agency alleges that he was the "kingpin" behind the scam and directly involved in demanding kickbacks from liquor barons.

Source: India Today

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