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BREAKING| Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik Approaches Bombay High Court To Declare ED Arrest Illegal; Terms It 'Political Vendetta'

Sharmeen Hakim
28 Feb 2022 5:14 PM GMT
BREAKING| Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik Approaches Bombay High Court To Declare ED Arrest Illegal; Terms It Political Vendetta
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Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik has approached the Bombay High Court to quash the money laundering ECIR (FIR) registered against him as also the Special court's order remanding him in the Enforcement Directorate's custody till March 3, 2021. The State Minority Development Minister alleged "illegal arrest," for being a "vocal critique...

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik has approached the Bombay High Court to quash the money laundering ECIR (FIR) registered against him as also the Special court's order remanding him in the Enforcement Directorate's custody till March 3, 2021. 

The State Minority Development Minister alleged "illegal arrest," for being a "vocal critique of the misuse of Central agencies since actor Rhea Chakraborty's arrest." 

"The Petitioner states that he is not the first to be targeted and this is a worrying trend across the nation where central agencies are being misused by the party in power," the plea read. 

Malik seeks immediate release, a declaration that his arrest was illegal and quashing of the ECIR. 

Malik claimed that "a lengthy, winding and obscure Remand Application" was filed by the ED in order to obfuscate the real issue and to try and mislead the Special PMLA Judge. "If the Application is perused carefully, it essentially reveals that this is a mere sale purchase transaction of a property situated at CTS No. 336, 336/1 to 336/25 and 338 situated at Kurla, Mumbai (the "said Property") for due consideration."

He claimed that the Special PMLA Court's order was "without jurisdiction."

"The Order dated 23rd February, 2022, remanding the Petitioner (Malik) to the custody of Respondent No. 1 (ED), passed by Ld. Special Court, PMLA was therefore wholly without jurisdiction, in as much as, the arrest was illegal, there is no offence as alleged and the same was in breach of the Petitioner's statutory rights under Section 41A of the Cr.P.C as well as Sec. 19 of the PMLA Act."

Facts of the Case

Malik, a 5-time MLA was arrested by the enforcement directorate on February 23, 2022 in a money laundering case based on NIA's FIR registered against Dawood Ibrahim on February 3, 2022. 

In their remand against Malik, ED alleged that that Malik in connivance with D-gang members i.e. Haseena Parker, Salim Patel and Sardar Khan hatched a criminal conspiracy for usurping one Munira Plumber's ancestral property in Kurla having current market value of around Rs.300 crores. Thus, it is proceeds of crime under section 2(1)(u) of PMLA. The ED relied on documents executed between March 1999 to September 2005.

The ED alleged that Malik already occupied 'Kurla General store' on the premises. He then took control of Solidus Investments Private Limited and became a tenant on the premises. Subsequently Malik in connivance with D-Gang members used a power of attorney in favour of the latter to purchase the premises. Plumber said she had executed the PoA only to remove encroachments and not effect sale. 

Malik has sought relief on the following grounds :- 

Non- compliance of Section 19 of PMLA, Illegal Arrest, Arnesh Kumar's Judgement 

Malik claimed he was forcibly picked up from his house on the morning of 23rd February, 2022 at about 6.00 am without any summons/notice under Section 41-A CrPC being issued to him and thereafter detained in the Eds office. He alleged that he was served with a summons while in ED's custody, asking him to remain present at 8 am. 

No Connection With Alleged Predicate Offence 

Malik said that the Special Judge failed to consider that the ED was unable show Malik's connection with any of the "anti- national accused" named in NIA's FIR which was the basis for the present ECIR. Moreover, ED's lengthy remand application "neither makes out any offence under the PMLA Act nor was it supported by a valid predicate offence which is mandatory." 

Can't Apply PMLA Retrospectively

According to the petition, the Special Judge failed to consider that the offences alleged are from over 20 years ago, but also the fact that at that time PMLA was not on the statute book and therefore there cannot be any retrospective application of the Act.

The PoA allowed Sale 

Significantly Malik claimed that the hotly contested power of attorney given by Munira Plumber to Salim Patel in 1999 included power to sell the property. Moreover, all the transactions happened though this PoA, which even plumber wasn't denying.

"The Petitioner states that it is now amply clear that this entire action by the Respondent No.1 reeks of malafides and is done as a matter of political vendetta. The Petitioner states that the entire family of the Petitioner including his friends have been probed by the Respondent No.1 over last 4 months. However, nothing could be found," the plea states. 

The petition will be mentioned before the HC tomorrow.  


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