Allegations against Malik appear to be well-founded, says PMLA court

Mumbai, Feb 25 (PTI) Prima facie, there are reasonable grounds to believe that allegations against Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik are “well-founded”, observed a special court here while remanding him in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate [ED] in connection with a money laundering case.
Special judge R.N. Rokade, designated to hear matters related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act [PMLA], also said that sufficient time is required to be granted for the investigation of the offence and Malik’s custodial interrogation was necessary.
The court on Wednesday remanded Malik, a senior Nationalist Congress Party leader, in the custody of the ED till March 3. Its detailed order was made available on Friday.
Malik was arrested by the ED on Wednesday in a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.
The court, in its order, said it appears from the report that the accused has not cooperated with the investigation on the crucial aspect.
“Prima facie, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accusations are well-founded under PMLA,” the judge observed.
The court held that the probe was at a nascent stage and Malik’s custodial interrogation was necessary to unearth all the ramifications involved in the crime.
“The proceeds of crime have traversed since last 20 years and more. Therefore, sufficient time is required to be granted for the investigation of the offence,” the judge said.
The ED case is based on a first information report filed recently by the National Investigation Agency [NIA] against Ibrahim, a fugitive gangster, and others. The NIA had filed its criminal complaint under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.