Politician Abdul Rashid Sheikh, who has won from Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla Lok Sabha seat as an independent candidate, moved a Delhi court on Wednesday seeking interim bail to take his oath as an MP, his counsel advocate Vikhyat Oberoi confirmed.

“We have filed an application seeking interim bail or custody parole for swearing in and for other parliamentary functions,” Oberoi told Scroll.

As per Article 99 of the Constitution, every member of Parliament is mandated to take an oath before the president before commencing their service.

Oberoi said that the special Patiala House Court in Delhi heard part of the arguments on Wednesday and listed the matter for Thursday. “The National Investigation Agency should be filing a response to my application by tomorrow,” Oberoi added.

Sheikh, who has been in jail since August 2019 in connection with a terror-funding case filed by the central agency, defeated National Conference vice president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah by more than 2 lakh votes in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.

“If four lakh people vote for my father, it will send a message to every corner of India that my father is not a criminal,” Abrar Rasheed, Sheikh Rashid’s son, had told Scroll in May. “A criminal wouldn’t get such support.”

Sheikh, who is popularly known as Engineer Rashid, emerged as a surprise contender in the race for Baramulla. He had to get a clearance from a court to contest the Lok Sabha elections and his entry into the fray changed the course of what was otherwise seen as a fight between Abdullah and Sajad Lone of the Peoples Conference party.

Oberoi said he had to visit Sheikh in jail on Tuesday to inform him of his win. “There were rumours of his win flying around in jail, but he got the confirmation after I told him,” Oberoi told Scroll. “He was delighted to hear this. This was the first time I saw happiness on his face.”

On Wednesday, a day after the results, Kashmiri politicians appealed to the Centre to consider Sheikh’s release in view of his electoral win.

“Government of India must respect the verdict of the people and release Engineer Rashid,” former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a post on X.

Mufti lost the polls to National Conference’s Mian Altaf Ahmad from the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha constituency by a margin of over 2.80 lakh votes.

Former MLA and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami also called for the release of Sheikh, who is being held under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, reported Greater Kashmir.

Also read: Lok Sabha 2024: Why discontent over August 2019 echoes in J&K and Ladakh results