Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh, both NCP leaders, were arrested in separate cases of money laundering by the ED.
Mumbai: A special court in Mumbai on Thursday rejected the applications filed by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking permission to visit the Vidhan Sabha on Friday to vote for the Rajya Sabha elections.
Malik and Deshmukh, arrested in separate cases of money laundering, had approached the court seeking a one-day bail to cast their votes in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from Maharashtra.
Special Judge RS Rokade passed the order after marathon arguments on Wednesday by the counsels of Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which opposed the pleas by saying that the prisoners have no voting rights under the Peoples Representation Act.
On Wednesday, senior advocate Amit Desai appearing for Nawab Malik told the court that he “wasn’t seeking permission in perpetuity to attend Vidhan Sabha”, but only wanted permission to cast his vote with police escorts. “Malik has a duty towards his constituency,” Desai told the court.
“Courts frequently grant permission to prisoners to light the pyre when a parent dies or to give away a daughter in a wedding considering these as a duty. My ability to cast a vote fails, I am prejudiced, my party is prejudiced,” Desai said.
While Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in November 2021 in a money laundering case, Nawab Malik was held by the sleuths of the ED on February 23 this year in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his accomplices.