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BREAKING| "Too Nascent A Stage For Us To Interfere" : Supreme Court Dismisses Nawab Malik's Plea Challenging ED Arrest In Money Laundering Case

Shruti Kakkar
22 April 2022 5:20 AM GMT
BREAKING| Too Nascent A Stage For Us To Interfere : Supreme Court Dismisses Nawab Maliks Plea Challenging ED Arrest In Money Laundering Case
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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant dismissed Malik's petition, which was filed against an order of the Bombay High Court which refused him interim relief in the...

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant dismissed Malik's petition, which was filed against an order of the Bombay High Court which refused him interim relief in the habeas corpus petition filed by him challenging the arrest and the remand in the ED case.

"How do they arrest me in 2022 for something which happened in 1999 where I am not in the picture at all?", Sibal submitted at the outset.

"You can apply for bail before the competent court. At this stage, we will not interefere at all", Justice Chandrachud said.

"There is no 41A notice. Arrest is illegal", Sibal said.

"It is too nascent a stage for us to interfere", Justice Chandrachud said.

"The special court is not going to grant me bail with a 5000 page chargesheet filed. There is no prima facie case. There is no predicate offence. How can PMLA be invoked?The Arnab Goswami judgment is in my favour", Sibal submitted.

"We will not interefere Mr.Sibal", Justice Chandrachud said. Sibal then requested for a clarification that the High Court's observations will not influence the Special Court in deciding bail.

"We are not inclined to exercise jurisdiction under Article 136 when the investigation is at the nascent stage. The observation of the HC on merits, it is clarified is confined to the question of whether interim relief was required to be granted and shall not come in the way of parties taking recourse to the rights available in law", the Bench said in the order.

The ED arrested the Minorities Development Minister on February 23 based on an FIR registered against global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, alleging Malik's "involvement in terror funding" based on a 1999-2005 land deal involving Dawood Ibrahim's late sister Haseena Parkar. He has been under custody ever since his arrest, with the Special PMLA Court at Mumbai extending his remand from time to time.

Malik has filed the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court's order of March 15, 2022, refusing interim release in a habeas corpus petition filed on the ground that his arrest was "completely illegal".

While rejecting Malik's prayer for interim relief the HC had observed that "certain debatable issues are required to be heard at length," however, requirements of arrest under section 19 of PMLA were prima facie complied with.

Significantly, it had also observed that, prima facie, claiming that a property is untainted would amount to an offence under section 3 of the PMLA 2002.

Malik claims that since his petition was strictly on the law, the HC couldn't have given a prima facie finding regarding section 3 of PMLA without reasoning.

"The High Court also already having taken a prima facie view that debatable issues arose, could not have then gone on to take a contrary prima facie view on Section 3 of PMLA, without any reasoning as to how in the present case, there was any predicate offence, let alone any offence under PMLA with regard to the Petitioner."

The ED alleged that Parkar and Malik usurped a property in Kurla from one Munira Plumber. In 2003 Malik, through his family, bought a company called Solidus Investments Private Limited – which was also a tenant on the concerned property. He then, through Solidus, paid Parkar the money to get ownership rights for the land in 2003 and September 2005. And since Parkar was allegedly a part of Dawood's gang, the money paid to her became proceeds of crime, the ED claimed.

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