Jailed Maha minister Nawab Malik seeks 1-day bail to cast vote in RS polls

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, currently in jail following arrest in a money laundering case, on Monday approached a special court here seeking bail for one day to cast vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections to six seats from the state.

Last week, Maharashtra’s former home minister Anil Deshmukh, who is also in jail on money laundering charges, had filed a similar application.

On Monday, a special court in Mumbai, designated to hear cases related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its affidavit to both the applications (Malik and Deshmukh) and posted them for further hearing on June 8.

The Rajya Sabha polls are scheduled on June 10. 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.

The NCP leader in his application sought to be released on bail for a day on June 10.

Malik in his plea claimed that he is an elected MLA and hence, is duty bound to represent the residents of his constituency in electing a representative to the Rajya Sabha, and is also desirous to cast his vote in the aforesaid biennial elections.

The 288-member Maharashtra Assembly forms the electoral college for the Rajya Sabha polls.

While the two NCP MLAS – Deshmukh and Malik- are currently in jail, one seat is lying vacant.

Apart from the four main parties Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and BJP, the Assembly has 25 MLAs from smaller parties and Independents.

The effective election quota per candidate is 42. The BJP, which has 106 members in the House, has nominated Union minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik.

The NCP has re-nominated former Union minister Praful Patel, while the Congress has fielded Imran Pratapgarhi. Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar are nominees of the Shiv Sena.

The electoral contest for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat lies between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar.