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ED Opposes Interim Bail To Kerjiwal In Delhi Liquor Policy Scam

In a fresh affidavit filed in the Supreme Court a day ahead of the resumed hearing on the interim bail plea in the PMLA case, ED asserted that “right to campaign for an election is neither a fundamental right nor a constitutional right and not even a legal right”

Two days after a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta showed its inclination towards granting conditional interim bail to arrested Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections, and a day before it is set to resume hearing in the matter, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday (May 9, 2024) filed a fresh affidavit in the court vehemently opposing the interim bail plea.

Opposing the Court’s suggestion to grant Kejriwal interim bail on the condition that he will only indulge in campaigning for the elections and not discharge any official duties, the ED argued that  the “right to campaign for an election is neither a fundamental right nor a constitutional right and not even a legal right”.

The central probe agency also submitted that a politician cannot claim a higher status than an ordinary citizen and is not entitled to differential treatment.

ED had arrested Kejriwal on March 21 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the scam involving the since scrapped Delhi Excise Policy and is currently under judicial custody. It has been maintaining in the court that he is the “kingpin” in the scam and directly involved in demanding kickbacks from liquor barons.

In its fresh affidavit, ED contended that Arvind Kejriwal had used the same excuse of being busy in electioneering in five states, which went to polls earlier, while avoiding repeated summons issued by it. It reasoned that around 123 elections have taken place around the country in the past three years, and if interim bail is granted each time to politicians on the pretext of election campaigning, then no politician can be arrested and kept in judicial custody.

It further pointed out that in the past politicians have contested elections while in judicial custody, and have won too, but they were never granted interim bail.

Will, or will not Kejriwal be granted interim bail by the Supreme Court tomorrow! The country will be watching eagerly.

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