The Bombay High Court on Wednesday will hear the plea of Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik, who was arrested last week for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case. Nawab Malik has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court to quash his arrest. In this petition, he claims that his arrest is unlawful. However, Nawab Malik will remain in ED custody till March 3.
According to media reports, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court on Monday, claiming that his arrest was illegal. Through this petition, he had requested to order his release immediately. The court was informed that the regular bench of Justice PB Varale and Justice SP Tavade nominated to hear criminal petitions would not be available this week.
Justice Shinde said that his bench would also not be available on Wednesday. Thereafter, Justice Shinde said, the matter would be listed for hearing on Wednesday before a bench of Justices SB Shukre and GA Sanap. In his petition, Nawab Malik has said that he was targeted for being a vocal critic of the misuse of central agencies.
The petitioner said that he is not the first person to be targeted and there is such a worrying trend across the country where central agencies are being misused by the ruling party. Malik claimed that he has no links with any of the anti-national accused i.e. Dawood Ibrahim and other gangsters named in the FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Based on the FIR of the NIA, the ED started an investigation in this case.
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, in his plea, said that the ED officials had arrested him from his residence on February 23 under section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure without any notice or summons. The minister further said that the February 23 order of the special court designated to hear the cases of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was out of the jurisdiction.
The ED case is that Malik along with Dawood Ibrahim's associates (Haseena Parkar, Salim Patel and Sardar Khan) hatched a criminal conspiracy to usurp Munira Plumber's ancestral property in Kurla, Mumbai, which is worth around Rs 300 crore. The ED had claimed that in this way the crime was committed through money laundering.
The ED case is based on the recent FIR lodged by the NIA against Dawood Ibrahim and others. The NIA had registered a criminal complaint under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The statement of Maharashtra's Minority Affairs Minister Malik was recorded under PMLA.