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ED opposes bail plea of Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik, says prisoners have no voting rights

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday opposed the temporary bail application filed sought by Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik and former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to cast vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, stating that prisoners have no voting rights.

In an affidavit filed before a Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the national agency said that under the Representation of People Act (RP Act), prisoners do not have voting rights.

ED said the right to vote was a statutory right created under Section 62 of the RP Act and the law was settled that the right to vote being a statutory right, was subject to the restrictions prescribed.

It said as per Section 62(5) of the RP Act, “No person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police”.

Special Judge RN Rokade will hear the matter again on Wednesday.

Malik is presently in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) involving underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Deshmukh, who is also in judicial custody, is the prime accused in the probe initiated by ED after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR, following a Court-directed enquiry.

Both Deshmukh and Malik had moved the Court, contending that since they were MLAs and members of the electoral college for election of members, they should be allowed to cast their votes.

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