Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik, arrested by the ED in a money laundering case, was admitted to hospital today after he complained of fever and diarrhoea, his lawyer told a Special Court in Mumbai and claimed that Malik's health had deteriorated and he was in a "serious" condition.

Last week, Malik (62), who was lodged in the Arthur Road jail here, had sought interim bail on medical ground from the special court for trial of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs.

When the matter came up for hearing today, Malik's lawyer Kushal Mor told the Court that when the NCP leader's family members went to give him home food, they were told that he was shifted to the state-run J J Hospital.

Mor also told the court that Malik was ill since the last three days and that his condition has deteriorated and is "serious". The lawyer prayed that Malik be shifted to a private hospital, saying that several medical test facilities are not available at the J J Hospital.

Special Judge R N Rokade expressed concern over the prison authorities not informing the Court about Malik's condition and that he was taken to hospital.

The judge sought a report from the hospital and posted the matter for hearing on May 5. Malik had sought interim bail for six weeks on medical grounds, citing multiple illnesses, including kidney ailments and swelling in legs.

The Minister was arrested on February 23 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides, under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He is currently in judicial custody.

The ED's case is based on an FIR filed recently by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against Dawood Ibrahim and others. The NIA had filed its criminal complaint under sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The ED had recently filed an over 5,000-page charge sheet in the case against Malik.

The NCP leader had denied all charges levelled against him and moved the Supreme Court against an order of the Bombay HC, which had rejected his interim application seeking immediate release from jail. The Supreme Court had also refused to grant him any relief, noting the probe into the case is at a nascent stage.

With PTI inputs