Nawab Malik's bail plea for casting vote in Rajya Sabha polls rejected by Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court today rejected NCP leader Nawab Malik's petition seeking release from jail to enable him to cast his vote in the Rajya Sabha elections.

Malik sought that he be released from custody on a bond or be permitted to go with a police escort to the Vidhan Bhavan for voting.

Justice PD Naik while refusing to entertain Malik's plea noted that the tenor of his plea was that of seeking bail, and thus, the NCP leader should have approached an appropriate court.

Accordingly, the High Court has granted Malik leave to approach the appropriate bench of Justice Bharati Dangre.

On April 22, the Supreme Court had dismissed Malik's plea for interim release.

Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged money laundering and active involvement in terror funding in connection with a 1999 land deal with don Dawood Ibrahim’s sister.

The Bombay High Court had in March refused interim release to state minister Nawab Malik after hearing his habeas corpus petition seeking interim reliefs of immediate release.

On March 7, the NCP leader was sent to 14 days judicial custody by a Special PMLA Court in Mumbai. A Special Judge (PMLA) on March 3 had extended Malik's remand to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till March 07, 2022.

Earlier, on February 26, 2022, Malik was remanded in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate till March 3, 2022.

“Prima facie, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accusations are well-founded under PMLA. The investigation is at the nascent stage. Having regard to the serious allegations and statements in support of it, I am of the considered view that custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary to unearth all the ramifications involved in the crime….”, the Special Judge had observed.

Malik was arrested on February 23, 2022, under section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).