Mumbai: Court likely to decide on Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik’s Rajya Sabha voting plea today

On Wednesday, the court heard day-long arguments of their lawyers as well as the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED)

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, June 08, 2022, 09:48 PM IST
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A special court designated to conduct matters against MP’s and MLA’s is today likely to decide on the applications made by NCP leaders Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, at present in judicial custody, to be permitted to cast their vote in the Rajya Sabha elections to be held tomorrow.

On Wednesday, the court heard day-long arguments of their lawyers as well as the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED). While Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in November last year in a money laundering case, Malik was arrested in February in another. Both have since been in judicial custody.

Arguing for Malik, his counsel Amit Desai submitted that in 2017, Chhagan Bhujbal, who was in judicial custody in 2017, was permitted to vote in the Presidential elections. “He was an MLA then, why can’t the court continue its discretion,” he asked. He further argued that a person who has cases against him can contest elections, then why can’t he be allowed to vote?

Deshmukh’s counsel Abad Ponda argued that the former minister cannot be denied his right to vote and considered a person with criminal background as only a chargesheet had been filed against him, but the court was yet to frame charges. “This is the case of an unconvicted undertrial,” he said.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh opposed the pleas and told the court that the plain reading of a provision of the Representation of People Act shows that even if a person is an undertrial, he cannot vote in any elections, including that to the upper house. “If you go by a plain simple reading, they have no right to vote,” he argued.

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