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For 2nd time, no relief for NCP MLAs Deshmukh, Malik to vote

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Mumbai, June 17 (Ajit Weekly News) The Bombay High Court on Friday declined permission for the temporary release of Minister Nawab Malik and former state Minister Anil Deshmukh to vote for the upcoming June 20 elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

This is the second time this month that the duo — both MLAs — will not be allowed to cast their vote, first in the June 10 Rajya Sabha elections and now for the MLC polls.

Justice N.J. Jamdar passed the orders in an interim bail plea filed by Deshmukh and a plea by Malik only seeking relief to enable him cast his vote under a police escort.

Both leaders are from the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally Nationalist Congress Party. Deshmukh was arrested on November 2, 2021, and Malik was nabbed on February 23 this year under various cases of alleged corruption and money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

After hearing the strong arguments put forth by the lawyers of Deshmukh and Malik — Senior Advocate Amit Desai and Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhri — and the Additional Solicitor-General (ASG) Anil Singh appearing on behalf of the ED, Justice Jamdar declined the pleas of the duo to vote in the MLCs polls on Monday (June 20).

Among other things, ASG Singh argued that the Representation of Peoples Act, Section 62 (5), has prohibited a person in jail from voting in an election.

The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress have expressed strong displeasure over the verdict terming it as a blow to the democratic process, while the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the ruling.

–Ajit Weekly News


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