The Bombay High Court on Friday noted that the medical condition of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik was serious and agreed to hear his bail application on merits from next week.
"I am taking that he is suffering from serious medical condition. We will hear this matter on merits from next week," said Justice MS Karnik while agreeing to hear his bail plea on an urgent basis.
PMLA case against Nawab Malik
Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged money laundering case on February 23, 2022, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with property transactions allegedly linked to fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.
He sought bail from the Hc after his bail plea was rejected by the special court on November 30, 2022. He sought bail on medical grounds and also on the merits of his case. The special court had, however, permitted him to get admitted to a private hospital for treatment.
Last week, justice Karnik had asked Malik’s counsel Amit Desai to first show that the NCP leader’s Medical condition was serious and whether he can be considered a “sick person” under the provisions of the PMLA.
Malik in prison for over a year
Desai argued that Malik had been in prison for over a year. He has lost a kidney and the other kidney is functioning weakly. “It takes 2-3 weeks for permissions from courts for tests, that is not how it should work,” argued Desai. The counsel pointed out provisions in PMLA under which an accused is entitled to bail if s/he is below 16 years or is a woman or sick or infirm.
“If there is no necessity for a man in custody, and the primary object is to secure his presence in trial, then why burden the public treasury? His (Malik's) bed (in a hospital run by State) can be used by someone else. He (Malik) can look after himself. Do not burden government unnecessarily if the man can look after himself,” Desai argued.
On December 13, 2022, the High Court had refused to grant urgent hearing after noting that Malik had been admitted to a private hospital and was receiving treatment.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)