Former Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik “is in continuous possession of tainted property” through a firm, owned by his family, a special court held while denying him bail last week in an alleged money laundering case linked to a land deal in which fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides were involved.
Prima facie, there was evidence to indicate that there was a “conspiracy” between Hasina Parkar (Ibrahim’s sister), Salim Patel (alleged associate of Ibrahim) and Malik to grab the land owned by Munira Plumber and her mother Mariyum Goawala, said R N Rokade, special judge for cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The judge rejected Malik’s bail plea on November 30. A detailed order was made available on Tuesday. The Enforcement Directorate arrested Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Malik in February this year. He is in judicial custody and currently undergoing treatment at a private hospital here.
The court in its order said, “Having regard to the statements recorded under Section 50 of the PMLA pertaining to the conspiracy for ursurpation/acquisition of prime property– Goawala Compound – and the material collected during the investigation, I am inclined to hold that the applicant is in continuous possession of the tainted property through Solidus Investments Private Limited.” Solidus Investments company is owned by the family members of Malik.
The judge said considering the role attributed to the applicant (Malik) and the prima facie material placed on record, he was of the considered view that the applicant failed to “satisfy twin conditions for enlargement on bail” as per provisions of the PMLA.The court held that “prima facie, there is evidence to indicate that there was a conspiracy” between deceased Parkar, Salim Patel and Malik to grab the land owned by Munira Plumber and her mother Mariyum Goawala.
The court further said having regard to the entire gamut of the circumstances and transactions entered into by Salim Patel and the applicant, it was of the “considered view that the Enforcement Directorate is justified in invoking provisions of the PMLA.” Senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for Malik, had argued that the 62-year-old politician was suffering from several ailments and sought bail considering his medical condition.
The court, however, said, “It is relevant to note that during the hearing of bail application, the ED has filed an application for the constitution of a Medical Board for the verification of health condition of the applicant. The said application is strongly resisted on behalf of the applicant.” “Had the applicant been seriously suffering from the aforesaid ailments, he should have given suo moto consent for his examination by the Medical Board,” it said.
The judge said in the absence of detailed medical reports and non-examination of the applicant by Medical Board, he was not inclined to accept the submission of his advocate. The Enforcement Directorate’s case against Malik is based on an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Ibrahim, a designated global terrorist and a key accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, and his aides under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The ED had alleged that Hasina Parkar was one of the prominent members of the ‘D company’ (of Dawood Ibrahim) and involved in unauthorised acquisition of key assets for raising terror funds.During the investigation, it was revealed that the applicant in connivance with ‘D company’ members Hasina Parkar, Salim Patel and Sardar Khan hatched a criminal conspiracy for usurping the prime property – Goawala Compound in Mumbai’s Kurla area – belonging to Munira Plumber, it alleged.
As part of the planned conspiracy, the Power Of Attorney was executed by misguiding Plumber and supplementary POA was forged, the probe agency claimed. Parkar, Sardar Khan and the applicant (Malik) have got a share in the above property as agreed in their meetings and the documents were executed on the strength of the forged Power of Attorney issued in favour of Salim Patel, it said.
Therefore, the property usurped by the applicant in connivance with Parkar and others is proceeds of crime under provisions of the PMLA, the ED claimed. Malik, who was minority development minister in the previous Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government, had claimed he was implicated in the case for political reasons.
The NCP leader, who was also the chief spokesperson of his party, was in news prior to his arrest as he had made several allegations against Sameer Wankhede, the then zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau, after actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was arrested by the NCB in an alleged drug bust.