Mumbai court rejects pleas of Nawab Malik, Anil Deshmukh for voting in RS polls
Mumbai: A Mumbai court has rejected the petitions filed by jailed Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and former state home minister Anil Deshmukh's plea seeking permission to vote in the Rajya Sabha polls slated on June 10.
Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a corruption case while Nawab Malik was incarcerated in connection with a money laundering case linked to fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Both the NCP leaders sought the permission, saying they were Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and of the electoral college.
Malik contended that he was duty bound to represent the people of his constituency, Anushakti Nagar, in electing a representative to the Rajya Sabha. He stressed that he had won the election with 65,000 votes, which is 47 percent of the total votes polled.
The plea prayed that the court release him on personal bond with sureties or on such other terms and conditions as the court may deem fit or alternatively, permit Malik to go to Vidhan Bhavan under medical escort, the charges of which will be borne by him.
Citing the Representation of the People Act, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh said a jailed individual cannot vote even if they are under trial. Further, the Supreme Court has curtailed the movement, therefore, the question of going to another location does not arise.
In previous Supreme Court judgments, it has been ruled that the right to vote is not a fundamental right but a statutory one.
He further pointed out that if an applicant is in imprisonment because of their own conduct they cannot ask for privileges.
“In prison, you have no right to vote. That is what the law states,” added Singh.
After hearing the arguments of both sides, on today, the court rejected the pleas filed by the two leaders, seeking permission to vote in the June 10 Rajya Sabha polls.
Immediately after the ruling, lawyers of both the leaders sought certified copy of the order so that the Bombay High Court could be moved.