The Bombay High Court will hear on Wednesday a plea filed by Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money-laundering case.
Malik had filed the habeas corpus plea through his lawyers Taraq Sayed and Kushal More on Monday, terming his arrest by the ED as “illegal” and result of being “a vocal critic of the misuse of Central agencies”.
The minister has sought quashing of the ED’s Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) filed against him, his immediate release and a declaration that his arrest was ‘illegal’.
Malik, 62, also prayed to set aside the special PMLA court’s order remanding him to ED custody for eight days till March 3.
It may be recalled that Malik was arrested by the ED in an early morning swoop at his home on February 23 in an alleged money-laundering case based on the National Investigation Agency’s February 3 FIR against absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.
The ED has contended that Malik, allegedly in connivance with members of the Dawood gang, hatched a conspiracy to grab the ancestral property of a woman in Kurla, Goawala Compound, at a throwaway price though it was worth around Rs 300 crore.
The case dating back to over 20 years was highlighted in November 2021 by BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, when Malik was engaged in a ‘mega-serial expose’ of former chief of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Mumbai, Sameer Wankhede.
Malik has said that the ED served him with the summons after detaining him and taking him to its offices, and questioned invoking the PMLA Act for an alleged offence that was committed 20 years ago, before the (PMLA) law was enacted.
Malik, who became the first serving Cabinet minister of Maharashtra to be arrested, would be produced before the special PMLA court on Thursday when his ED remand ends.