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ED opposes bail for Arvind Kejriwal, says ‘right to campaign is not fundamental’

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) took a firm stand on Thursday, opposing the interim bail plea of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the agency argued that the right to campaign for elections was not a fundamental right. The affidavit, presented by ED’s Deputy Director Bhanu Priya, came a day before the scheduled Supreme Court hearing on Kejriwal’s interim bail plea related to the Delhi liquor policy case.

Campaigning not considered fundamental right
According to the affidavit, the ED emphasised that campaigning for an election wasn’t recognised as a fundamental, constitutional, or legal right. The agency pointed out that no political leader had been granted interim bail for campaigning unless they were contesting candidates.

Kejriwal criticised for seeking bail
The ED criticised Kejriwal for seeking interim bail, highlighting that he had previously evaded summons citing elections in five states.

Special concession rejected
The agency firmly rejected the idea of granting special concessions to Kejriwal, stating that doing so would undermine the rule of law and equality. It argued that granting him bail for election campaigning would create a precedent allowing politicians to evade investigation under the pretext of elections.

Equality before law
The ED underscored that no politician, including Kejriwal, should claim a status higher than that of an ordinary citizen. Granting special exemptions to politicians would create a divide between ordinary citizens bound by the law and politicians seeking exceptions.

Past incidents cited
Highlighting past incidents, the ED mentioned that politicians have contested elections while in judicial custody without being granted interim bail. It pointed out that several politicians across the country might be in judicial custody for various offences, even beyond the purview of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest
Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case. The agency alleges his direct involvement in the scandal, accusing him of demanding kickbacks from liquor barons and branding him as the “kingpin” behind the scam.

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