Maharashtra Nationalist Congress Party leaders and MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh have moved the Supreme Court seeking temporary release from prison to cast their votes in the Maharashtra Legislative Council election, which is underway.
A vacation bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sudhanshu Dhulia took note of the submissions of senior advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the jailed lawmakers, that the plea needed to be heard on Monday itself as the polling is being held today.
The bench said such matters have to go before the Chief Justice of India (CJI) first before allowing an urgent listing.
“In respect of matters listed during the vacation, there is a circular and the matter has to go before the CJI,” the bench said.
However, it took note of the vehement submission of the senior lawyer and said it would see whether the matter can be taken up for hearing in the afternoon.
The Bombay High Court had on June 17 rejected the NCP leaders plea seeking temporary release from prison for casting their ballots saying the constitutional right to vote is not absolute.
Malik, who is still a cabinet minister in the state, and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, both of whom are in prison in separate money laundering and corruption cases, had sought the courts permission to be let out of custody “for a few hours,” and “under escort protection” to vote.
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