A special court here on Thursday rejected the pleas filed by Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and former minister Anil Deshmukh seeking a day’s bail to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections to be held on Friday. Deshmukh and Malik, both senior NCP leaders, are currently lodged in jail in connection with different money laundering cases being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The duo had last week filed applications seeking temporary bail before special judge R N Rokade.
After hearing extensive arguments by all the parties, the court on Thursday refused temporary bail to Malik and Deshmukh. The ED had opposed their pleas, saying that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of the People Act. Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in November 2021 in a money laundering case.
Malik was arrested by 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 aides. In the Rajya Sabha polls to six seats from Maharashtra, every vote is crucial for the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), of which the NCP is a constituent, to get the Sena’s second candidate- Sanjay Pawar- elected.
After more than two decades, the state will witness a contest in the Rajya Sabha polls as there are seven candidates in the fray for the six seats. The ruling Shiv Sena has fielded two candidates, its MVA allies NCP and Congress have nominated one candidate each, while the opposition BJP has put up three candidates.
The contest lies between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar.
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