ED Opposes Interim Bail for Kejriwal's Campaigning in Supreme Court

Mainstream
10-May-2024
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has strongly opposed the Supreme Court's suggestion to grant interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for campaigning in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In an affidavit filed before the Court, the ED argued that the right to campaign is neither fundamental nor constitutional, emphasizing that no political leader has been granted interim bail solely for campaigning purposes.

The ED's affidavit underscores the principle of equality before the law, asserting that granting interim bail for campaigning would undermine the rule of law and create a precedent for preferential treatment of politicians. It contends that in a federal structure, no election holds greater significance than another, thereby rejecting any special concession for political campaigning.

Kejriwal's arrest by the ED on March 21 in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy has sparked a legal battle, with the Supreme Court currently seizing his petition challenging the arrest and remand. Despite the Court's hint at granting interim bail to facilitate Kejriwal's campaign, the ED maintains that such relief would violate the principles of Article 14 and set a dangerous precedent for all incarcerated politicians seeking similar treatment.

The ED's probe into Kejriwal's alleged involvement in manipulating the Delhi Excise Policy of 2021-22 to favor certain liquor sellers is rooted in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2022. The agency contends that Kejriwal cannot be treated differently due to his political status, emphasizing the need for equal treatment under the law.

The ED's opposition to granting interim bail highlights the broader implications of preferential treatment for politicians and the importance of upholding the rule of law. As the legal battle unfolds, the Supreme Court's deliberations on Kejriwal's plea will likely shape the contours of electoral accountability and the boundaries of political discourse in India.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer, MIT ADT University