June 10, 2023


New Delhi: Senior ED functionaries on Wednesday rejected the charge of political vendetta being the reason behind Nawab Malik’s arrest, asserting that it was on the basis of a thorough probe which turned up documentary evidence of allegedly illicit financial transactions involving him and other accused, reports Pradeep Thakur.
“Arrest is an exception and not the rule so far as the ED is concerned,” a senior agency official said. The agency has to satisfy the court about the basis for making the arrest and why his custodial interrogation was necessary, he said.
The ED’s strong, if informal, response came following allegations from the opposition parties, with NCP chief Sharad Pawar bringing in Malik’s being a Muslim as the reason for the ED linking him to D-company.
Agency sources, however, were unfazed and said they have a strong case against Malik. They also pointed out that they have not moved for the arrest of another NCP politician who has been accused of financial transactions with another D-gang member, drug lord Iqbal Mirchi, and his family.
The politician has not denied the dealing but said he went for it on the basis of legal advice and because they were no restrictions on foreign travel by Mirchi’s wife Hazra Memon, who also regularly filed her I-T returns.
Malik’s colleague under the ED scanner had always appeared before the agency on summons and recorded his statements. The issue has taken a political turn with Pawar saying his party anticipated this action as Malik had been vocal against BJP. BJP has cited the laundering case against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, who has been denied bail by courts, and said the ED action can always be challenged in the courts and it is for the courts to decide whether the agency’s actions are justified or “mere political vendetta”.


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