Nawab Malik, arrested in money laundering case, sent to ED custody till March 7
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik has been arrested in connection with a money laundering case linked to Dawood Ibrahim.
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik has been sent to extended custody of the Enforcement Directorate till Monday, March 7, after the central agency claimed he was illegally connected to another property in Mumbai's Kurla. Malik, who is a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party that is in power in the state (with the Congress and Shiv Sena) was arrested last week in connection with a money laundering case linked to wanted gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
On February 23, the day of his arrest, the special court sent Malik to ED custody till today. Additional solicitor general Anil Singh and advocate Hiten Venegaonkar had originally sought 14-day custody.
Also, on Tuesday, the Bombay High Court permitted hearing of a petition by Malik seeking to has challenge his arrest and the remand order.
In his petition, Malik claimed his custody and incarceration was abjectly illegal and therefore the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR, the equivalent of a FIR) should be quashed and he should be released forthwith.
The petition claimed the summons issued to him on Feb 23, and his subsequent arrest on the same day, by the ED was out of political vendetta as he was vocal and critical of the misuse of central agencies by the union government.
“The petitioner states 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," said the petition.
The BJP has stepped up calls demanding Malik's resignation and launched protests today as the Maharashtra Assembly met for the Budget session.
Malik, 62, has been an unsparing critic of the BJP over the past few months, with daily attacks on the Narcotics Control Bureau, as it handled the high-profile Aryan Khan case, and allegations that the opposition party was using central agencies to intimidate its rivals, making headlines.
ED officials came to Malik's residence early in the morning of Feb 23. He was questioned at home before being taken to the ED office, where he was questioned for seven hours before being arrested, news agency PTI reported.
A defiant Malik, as he was led away, said: "Jhukenge nahi, darenge nahi, expose karenge (we will not bow down, won't fear, will expose (the lies))."
With input from PTI