The Bombay High Court on Thursday said that it will pass its verdict on Friday on the petitions filed by jailed NCP leaders Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking leave from prison in order to cast their votes for the June 20 Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) elections. The court is set to pronounce its order at 2:30 pm tomorrow, reported Bar and Bench.
Malik told the HC that he wanted an escort along with him to cast his vote, clarifying that he was not requesting bail. Malik’s advocate further argued that an accused “cannot be deprived from the electoral roll,” reported Bar and Bench.
Section 62(5) of Representation of People Act (RPA) states that a person who is in prison cannot cast his vote, “whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police,” in any election.
Ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, the Bombay High Court had refused to entertain minister Nawab Malik’s plea seeking a day’s release from prison in order to go to the Maharashtra Assembly to cast his vote. A day earlier, a special court had rejected the plea of both Malik and Deshmukh to be released for a day for the Upper House election. The Enforcement Directorate had objected to their pleas and said that prisoners don’t have voting rights, while citing the RPA.