"Impression created that heavens would fall if Kejriwal is not allowed to campaign", SG Mehta argues before SC

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"Would right to food of a real common man be on a lesser pedestal less than the right to campaign.. Please see Representation of Peoples Act, your right to vote is suspended when you are in custody..", court has been told

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta today argued vehemently against the grant of interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liqour scam case. An impression is being created that heavens would fall if he is not allowed to campaign, the court was told today.

"Please do not earmark political leaders as a separate class, there are Managing Directors who are in jail, they can say my company is in doldrums..the impression is created that he has not done anything and during elections he is picked up..PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER FOR ANY INTERIM RELIEF..", SG Mehta told a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta.

The Solicitor also urged the bench to consider the example it would set by granting bail to Kejriwal.

"He is saying that he wants to campaign..no deviation can be made because a CM is in jail..there are thousands of politicians in jail, would he be more important than a common man who is running a kirana shop..is he more important that a farmer who wants to sow his seeds..", the SG submitted.

Responding to his submission, the court said, "National elections are held once every five years..it is not harvesting which happens every year..please do not compare..as far as politicians are concerned, we do not want them to be treated separately..".

"The question is not if your lordships can grant interim bail or not, it is if your lordships should grant interim bail or not..he was asked to appear before ED 6 months back, he was going for yoga..and said your summons are bad..he chooses not to cooperate and when he is compelled by court, he says I have to campaign..", the court was further told.

Arguing that all common men are constitutionally at par before the supreme court, the bench has also been requested to defer hearing on the question of bail.

The hearing is to continue at 2 PM in the matter.

On Friday, Supreme Court had said it will be considering the question of interim bail to Kejriwal owing to the Elections. Court had earlier also questioned Enforcement Directorate on the time gap between initiation of investigation and the following arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor scam case.

On April 29, the Supreme Court began hearing Delhi Chief Minister 's SLP challenging the Delhi High Court's dismissal of his petition contesting his arrest by the ED in the liquor policy scam.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 late evening. He has been in ED's custody since. ED had conducted searches at Delhi Chief Minister's residence following the Delhi High Court's decision to deny him protection from coercive action in an excise policy-related money laundering case.

The case against Kejriwal & allies involves allegations of corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of Delhi's excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped. 

Meanwhile, upon arrest, outside Kejriwal's residence, a crowd gathered, including AAP MLAs and party leaders, protesting the ED's actions. AAP leaders criticized the BJP and ED, alleging political conspiracy and misuse of power to target Kejriwal.