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HC nixes Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik pleas to vote in MLC polls | India News


Anil Deshmukh (L), Nawab Malik

MUMBAI: Holding that there is an express bar under law on people in prison from voting, the Bombay high court on Friday said it cannot exercise its discretion to permit NCP leaders Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik to exercise the franchise “which is otherwise prohibited by law.” The HC rejected pleas by Deshmukh and Malik, to be permitted out of prison confines to cast their votes as MLAs for the June 20 MLC elections.
The “inescapable” inference of Representation of People Act is that “a person in custody, either post conviction or during the course of investigation or trial, is prohibited from casting vote in any election,” held the HC.
Malik’s counsel had said HC has the discretion to let them out to go and vote as the larger issue of upholding democratic principles comes to the fore. The judge, however, found his submission that HC can remove the embargo created by RP Act on voting by prisoners was “fraught with infirmities”, intended to override the law’s interdict.

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