Friday, April 19, 2024

Supreme Court extends interim medical bail of NCP leader Nawab Malik by three months

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended by three months, the interim bail granted to former Maharashtra Minister and NCP MLA Nawab Malik on medical grounds in a money laundering case.

The Division Bench of Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Dipankar Datta extended the interim bail after Malik’s Counsel submitted that his condition had not improved since the previous order.

Appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Additional Solicitor General SV Raju did not dispute Malik’s condition.

The Counsel of the NCP leader apprised the Apex Court about the latest reports of his kidney ailment.

On August 11, the Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M Trivedi had granted temporary medical bail to Malik for two months.

Noting that the accused was currently admitted to a hospital for kidney-related disease and ailments, the Apex Court said that they were passing the bail order strictly on medical grounds and not on merits.

The Bench directed filing of a counter affidavit to the main petition within five weeks and granted three more weeks for filing of a rejoinder.

It then listed the matter for hearing after 10 weeks.

The Court passed the order on a plea filed by Malik against a Bombay High Court order rejecting his temporary medical bail plea.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Malik on February 23, 2022 under the stringent provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) over his alleged connection to fugitive underworld Dawood Ibrahim and his sister Haseena Parkar.

He was arrested on charges of purchasing a property at a rate lower than market value from gangster Dawood Ibrahim. He was allegedly picked up from his residence at 7 am on February 23.

After interrogation for over eight hours, Malik was arrested and remanded to ED custody for eight days, after which he was remanded to judicial custody.

Earlier on November 30, Special Judge R.N. Rokade in Maharashtra had denied him bail on the grounds that prima facie, there was evidence to indicate that a conspiracy had been hatched by Dawood’s sister Hasina Parkar, his driver Salim Patel and Malik to grab prime land owned by one Munira Plumber and her mother Mariyum Goawala.

Though Malik was not named in the scheduled offence but even otherwise, every process or activity, fell within the ambit of definition of money ­laundering, the Trial Court had observed.

The NCP leader challenged this order before the High Court, contending that despite finding flaws in the statement of witness Munira Plumber, the special court rejected his bail and even overlooked his serious medical condition.

Earlier, he had filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the High Court, which was dismissed. The Supreme Court had also upheld the High Court order.

The former Maharashtra Minister had applied for regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, after the Special PMLA Court took cognisance of the charge sheet in May this year.


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