Updated: June 20, 2022 4:41:40 pm
The Supreme Court on Monday declined the plea of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh seeking temporary release from prison so they could vote in the Maharashtra Legislative Council election, which was held today.
However, PTI reported that a vacation bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia agreed to examine the issue relating to the interpretation of Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1951, which bars jailed persons from voting.
Last week, Deshmukh and Malik’s pleas were rejected by Bombay High Court, with a single-judge bench of Justice N J Jamadar observing, “One of the objects of prohibition under the Act is stated to be arresting the criminalisation of politics. I am, therefore, not inclined to accede to the broad proposition that permitting the persons (who are otherwise not qualified to vote in the election) strengthens democracy.”
Malik and Deshmukh are in jail in two separate money laundering cases.
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The polling for MLC election in Maharashtra ended at 4 pm on Monday. The elections for 10 seats in the legislative council saw eleven candidates in fray.
The BJP has five candidates — Praveen Darekar, Ram Shinde, Shrikant Bharatiya, Uma Khapre and Prasad Lad. The Congress candidates are Bhai Jagtap and Chandrakant Handore. The NCP candidates are Ramraje Nimbalkar and Eknath Khadse. The Shiv Sena candidates are Aamshya Padavi and Sachin Ahir.
Of the 288 MLAs in Maharashtra, 285 voted, as Malik and Deshmukh were not allowed to participate and one Shiv Sena MLA, Ramesh Latake, passed away last month.
To get both its candidates elected, the NCP is short of just one vote.
Earlier in the day, the Shiv Sena claimed that not allowing Malik and Deshmukh to vote was like “trampling” on the rights of the two elected representatives.
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