In its detailed order rejecting bail to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik, the special court in Mumbai said that he had “express knowledge” that Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, Hasina Parkar, and her close associate were involved in the property, in connection with which the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested him. The court has also said that there was prima facie evidence to indicate that there was a conspiracy between Parkar, her associate Salim Patel and Malik to grab the property.
A former minister, Malik was arrested by the ED in February alleging money laundering related to a property called Goawala Compound in Kurla. Malik’s bail plea was rejected by the special court on November 30. The detailed order was made available on Tuesday.
The court also did not accept Malik’s submissions seeking to be granted bail on consideration of his health condition. Malik (62) has multiple health ailments and his medical reports show that his left kidney is ‘barely functioning’, his lawyers had submitted. He has been admitted to a private hospital since May.
“It is relevant to note that during the hearing of bail application, the Enforcement Directorate has filed an application for constitution of medical board for 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. In the absence of detailed medical reports and non-examination of the applicant by medical board, I am not inclined to accept the submission….,” the court said.
The ED had filed a complaint based on the scheduled offence filed against Ibrahim and others by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The ED had alleged that Parkar and her associate Patel had usurped the property in Kurla from its owners, Munira Plumber and Marium Goawala. The ED claimed that Patel had forged a power of attorney and sold the property despite having no authorisation. The property was subsequently bought by Malik through the company, Solidus Investments.
Malik in his bail plea had said that Solidus was a bonafide purchaser of the property and there was nothing to show that he had a role in the alleged usurping of the property or proceeds of crime linked to Parkar. He had also submitted that mere possession of the property is not an offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“Applicant (Malik) was having knowledge of the fact that Goawala Compound was owned by Mrs. Munira Plumber and her mother Mariyum Goawala. From the statements of the witnesses, it has come on the record that the applicant did not make any inquiry with Mrs. Munira Plumber and verify the facts addressed by Salim Patel. Therefore, I am not inclined to accept the defence that M/s. Solidus Investments Pvt. Ltd. was a bonafide purchaser for value at this stage of the proceeding,” special judge R N Rokade said in his order.
Malik’s lawyers had submitted that statements of Plumber were contradictory to the documents. It was submitted that Plumber had herself issued a power of attorney to Patel and documents showed a supplementary power of attorney to have been executed by Plumber in favour of Patel for a consideration of Rs 9.5 lakh.
“Prima facie, it appears from the aforesaid documents that the statement of Mrs. Munira Plumber is contrary to the documents executed by her. It is imperative to note that the legal maxim of ‘falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus’ is not applicable in India. Therefore, her statement recorded under Section 50 of PMLA, 2002, cannot be brushed aside. From the statement of Munira Plumber, it becomes abundantly clear that she along with her mother inherited Goawala Compound. It is seen from the statement of Munira Plumber that she has no knowledge about the transactions between Salim Patel and M/s. Solidus Investments Pvt. Ltd,” the court said.