A Special PMLA court on Thursday rejected appeals filed by two NCP Maharashtra lawmakers seeking release on bail for one day to cast their votes in the Rajya Sabha elections on June 10, spelling a setback for the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi.
The two leaders are Minister Nawab Malik and former minister Anil Deshmukh, both arrested by the Enforcement Directorate and currently in judicial custody in different cases of money-laundering lodged against them.
The duo – which had filed the bail plea last week – has decided to appeal against the ruling of special PMLA court Judge R.N. Rokade, in the Bombay High Court soon.
Opposing their bail applications, the ED contended that prisoners do not have voting rights under the Representation of the People Act.
Shortly after the verdict, state Nationalist Congress Party President and Minister Jayant Patil expressed dismay over the special court verdict and said they the two are merely accused in the cases and still not convicted, hence they should have been allowed to cast their votes.
While Deshmukh was nabbed on November 2, 2021, Malik was arrested on February 23 this year pertaining to different cases of alleged money-laundering filed against them.
Friday’s RS elections are crucial with 7 candidates in the fray for 6 seats, where every vote would be critical to determine the victory of the ruling Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s Dhananjay Mahadik pitted against each other.