Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh's temporary release for MLC elections is denied by the Bombay High Court

Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh’s temporary release for MLC elections is denied by the Bombay High Court

18 June 2022

Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh’s temporary release for MLC elections is denied by the Bombay High Court

On Friday, the Bombay High Court declined to let Maharashtra’s Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik and former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh vote in; the forthcoming Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections, which will be held; on Monday, June 20.

An interim motion in Deshmukh’s bail plea and a new appeal filed by; Malik just asking permission to vote with police escorts, Justice NJ Jamadar issued the judgment.

Separate money laundering cases are probed by; the enforcement directorate, and the NCP ministers are held in judicial custody. The office denied their petitions, citing section 62(5) of the Representation of People’s Act, which states that; a person incarcerated cannot vote in an election.
“However, election to the MCL is a form of indirect voting. Wouldn’t this be depriving the electorate/citizens of the constituency of their right to vote in the elections?” During the arguments, Justice Jamadar inquired.

Senior Advocate Amit Desai argued that; Section 62(5) of the RP Act did not provide a full ban on voting and that; the individual may only be barred from voting if he was incarcerated. This physical disability, however, may be remedied by giving temporary voting bail.

“Nothing prevents the judge from exercising his or her discretion. Although an accused can file for an election, the court will not allow him to vote in the same election?

The question before the court, according to Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhri, was whether it would accept Deshmukh’s release for a few hours rather than interpreting the scope of section 62(5) of the RP Act.

However, ASG Anil Singh disagreed with their arguments, claiming that the Act creates a voting restriction. “Where is the question of using judgment when there is a legal prohibition?”

He claimed that; the PMLA’s dual bail conditions (45 (D) would also apply. “We cannot alter the law in a democratic process; we can only interpret it.”

Chaudhri, on the other hand, concluded his argument by adding, “Saying that the court lacks the authority to give freedom is a very risky idea. It’s a battle between my fettered right and your lordships’ unrestrained discretion.”

Last Monday, the Special PMLA court denied both NCP leaders, Anil Deshmukh and Malik, permission to vote in the Rajya Sabha elections on June 10, 2022.

The judge pointed out that; under section 62(5) of the Representation of Peoples Act, a felon, as well as an undertrial, would be prohibited from voting.

According to the ED, Deshmukh took advantage of his position as state home minister by collecting Rs 4.70 crore from several Mumbai bars with the help of certain police personnel. In November 2021, he apprehended.

On February 23, Malik detained by; the ED in a money laundering case involving fugitive mobster Dawood Ibrahim and his associates.

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