Nawab Malik's bail plea rejected in money laundering case, Supreme Court says 'probe is at a nascent stage'
The Supreme Court said it will not interfere with the Bombay High Court order of March 15 but NCP leader Nawab Malik can avail of the remedy available under the law before the trial court.
- The Supreme Court refused to grant bail to NCP leader Nawab Malik in a case of money laundering
- The apex court bench said it will not interfere with the Bombay High Court order of March 15
- It, however, added that Malik can avail of the remedy available under the law before the trial court
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant bail to Maharashtra cabinet minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik in a case of money laundering, saying the probe is at a nascent stage. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said it will not interfere with the Bombay High Court order of March 15 but Malik can avail the remedy available under the law before the trial court.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Malik, said they arrested me in 2022 for something that happened in 1999. He said there is no case under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) made out as there is no predicate offence.
The bench said the investigation is at a very nascent stage and that it will not interfere with the high court order.
On March 15, the Bombay High Court had rejected Malik's interim application seeking immediate release in a case of money laundering, saying just because the special PMLA court's order remanding him in custody is not in his favour; it does not make that order illegal or wrong.
The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Malik in February under provisions of the PMLA after which he had filed a habeas corpus plea in the high court, claiming his arrest by the ED and the consequent remands were illegal.
The HC had said Malik's counsel had argued before the PMLA court and vehemently opposed the ED's request for the minister's custody. Yet, the special court had remanded him to ED's custody and subsequently to judicial custody based on valid legal grounds.
The high court had said that the minister still had the option to apply for bail in the case before the special court. It had held that Malik was arrested by the ED in accordance with the law, and subsequently been remanded to the probe agency's custody and then to judicial custody following due process.
Therefore, there was no reason for the high court to pass any interim order directing Malik's release from custody, it had said.
Malik was arrested by the ED over a property deal allegedly linked to the aides of gangster Dawood Ibrahim. The central agency has accused Malik of being part of an alleged criminal conspiracy to usurp a property in Mumbai's Kurla area which currently has a market value of Rs 300 crore and belongs rightfully to one Munira Plumber.
Malik contended before the HC that he had bought the property in a bonafide transaction three decades ago, and Plumber has now changed her mind about the transaction.