Nawab Malik sent to ED custody till March 3, MVA leaders to stage stir tomorrow

Updated on Feb 23, 2022 11:04 PM IST
  • Additional solicitor general Anil Singh and advocate Hiten Venegaonkar had sought 14-day custody of NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik for completing the investigation into the matter.
Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik raise slogans as he is being taken for medical examination after being brought out of the Enforcement Directorate office, in Mumbai on Wednesday, February 23. 2022. (ANI Photo)(Nitin Lawate)
Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik raise slogans as he is being taken for medical examination after being brought out of the Enforcement Directorate office, in Mumbai on Wednesday, February 23. 2022. (ANI Photo)(Nitin Lawate)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

A special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday sent Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) till March 3. Malik was arrested earlier in the day in a money laundering case linked with underworld activities and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Additional solicitor general Anil Singh and advocate Hiten Venegaonkar had sought 14-day custody of Malik for completing the investigation into the matter.

Malik has been allowed to carry his medicines and receive home-cooked food during the course of his ED custody, according to an input from news agency ANI.

The central agency arrested the Maharashtra minister after questioning him for over seven hours. According to news reports, he was not cooperating with the authorities during the process.

Malik was taken to a government hospital for checkup and later produced before the court. Lawyers Amit Desai and Taraq Sayed argued for the 62-year-old minister.

The NCP leader said ED officials came to his residence and forcibly took him to their office. He vowed to “fight” and “expose everyone” on Twitter soon after his arrest.

Several opposition party leaders, including Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and some Congress leaders have come out in support of Malik.

Banerjee called up NCP chief Sharad Pawar after Malik's arrest and urged him not to dismiss his party leader from the Maharashtra government.

Pawar, meanwhile, convened a meeting at his residence where NCP leaders and Maharashtra ministers Rajesh Tope, Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal were present.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Bhujbal said all the three parties of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government have decided that Malik’s resignation will not be accepted. The Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP form the coalition MVA ruling dispensation in the western state.

“Nawab Malik is being punished for attacking the Opposition. We will fight for justice. They (Centre) are putting pressure on our ministers in order to collapse our government,” Bhujbal was quoted as saying by ANI.

Sena leader Sanjay Raut also called out the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre for “attacking from behind” in reference to Malik's arrest, and dismissed the saffron camp's calls to sack the Maharashtra minister.

MVA ministers will stage a protest tomorrow against the ED and the central government at the Mahatma Gandhi Smark in Mumbai, following Malik's arrest and subsequent ED custody.

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