‘Election campaign not constitutional right’: ED opposes Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail in Supreme Court | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Election campaign not constitutional right’: ED opposes Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail in Supreme Court

By | Written by Adarsh Kumar Gupta
May 09, 2024 05:49 PM IST

Enforcement Directorate has said that Kejriwal is not contesting Lok Sabha polls and no political leader has ever been granted interim bail for campaigning.

Enforcement Directorate has filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court on Thursday, opposing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's interim bail in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam. In the affidavit, ED has said that Kejriwal is not contesting Lok Sabha polls and no political leader has ever been granted interim bail for campaigning. The agency said that right to campaign for an election is neither a fundamental right nor a constitutional right.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (File photo)
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (File photo)

"It is relevant to note that the right to campaign for an election is neither a fundamental right nor a constitutional right and not even a legal right," said the Enforcement Directorate, reported news agency PTI.

"No political leader has been granted interim bail for campaigning even though he is not the contesting candidate. Even a contesting candidate is not granted interim bail if he is in custody for his own campaigning," added the agency.

"If Right to campaign is treated as a basis to grant interim bail then it would violate Article 14 and differential treatment cannot be given to a politician," the agency has said.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Justice Sanjiv Khanna said, "We will pronounce the interim order (on bail) on Friday. The main matter related to the challenge to arrest will also be taken up on the same day."

ALSO READ| Supreme Court likely to issue order on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal bail plea Friday

Meanwhile, after a Delhi court's order on Tuesday, Kejriwal's judicial custody in the case has been extended till May 20. He was arrested on March 21.

Kejriwal is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody. He is accused of soliciting kickbacks from liquor traders in exchange for favours. The ED has also accused him of being the "kingpin and key conspirator" in the Delhi government's now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22. In connection with the case, several other AAP leaders, including Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh were also arrested. While Sisodia is still in jail, Sanjay Singh has been released from Tihar Jail on bail after six months.

Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party and Kejriwal have claimed innocence in the case. They have also been accusing the Central government of misusing the central agencies to muzzle the voice of the opposition and to jeopardise AAP's campaign in the Lok Sabha election 2024.

The Lok Sabha election 2024 is being held in seven phases, with the first three phases already over. Polling will be held in Delhi in phase six on May 25. Kejriwal is trying to come out of jail before this date in order to campaign for AAP and its candidates.

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