A special court on Tuesday permitted an application by the state cabinet minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik to sign letters in his capacity as an MLA while in judicial custody to allocate funds for public welfare.
Malik is in judicial custody after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in February in a money laundering case.
In his application, Malik had sought to sign seven letters, including one to the housing minister and another to the BEST authority. His advocate told the court that Malik, being a cabinet minister of the state, it is his duty to address concerns and allocate funds for welfare purposes.
Special Judge RN Rokade said in the order that undoubtedly, Malik is a member of the legislative assembly and wants to address concerns on behalf of his constituents and solve problems by allocating funds for public welfare.
The ED had strongly opposed the plea of the minister and said that under the pretext of official correspondence and signing letters, Malik may find an opportunity to influence witnesses. The prosecution had also argued that he may tamper with evidence and forge documents.
Regarding this, Judge Rokade said that on perusal of the letters, it is seen that they are not related to the money laundering case and that Malik wants to allocate funds for public welfare. "If permission is granted to sign them, it will not affect the merits of the case," it added.
The court said that having regard to concerns of public welfare, it is of the opinion that it is necessary to give permission to Malik to sign the letters.