High court asks Nawab Malik to respond to defamation case by Sameer Wankhede’s father
The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday directed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik to respond to the defamation suit by Dhyandev Wankhede, father of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede’s, wherein he has sought ₹1.25 crore in damages from Malik within a day. Though Malik’s advocate informed the court that the suit was served to them on Sunday, the court held that if he (Malik) could respond to the tweets, he should do so in the suit as well.
The single-judge vacation bench of justice Madhav Jamdar, while hearing Dhyandev’s suit seeking interim relief in the form of deletion of articles, tweets and interviews from both digital and electronic media, was informed by advocates Arshad Shaikh, Ranjit Agashe, Krishnan Iyer and Saurabh Tamhankar that a temporary injunction was also being sought against Malik and those under his instructions from publishing, writing and speaking on any media.
Advocate Shaikh informed the bench that every day Malik was making defamatory statements or posting something or the other against his client and his family members, hence, had moved the defamation suit. Shaikh submitted that on Monday morning Malik had posted a defamatory tweet against the sister-in-law of Wankhede.
Referring to the claim by Malik that Wankhede’s father was Dawood Wankhede, Shaikh informed the bench that Wankhede had to clarify that his father was a Hindu and his mother a Muslim, however, such claims were lowering the reputation of his client in the eyes of the public.
In October, Malik had come out with a birth certificate purportedly of Wankhede, which showed the father’s name as Dawood Wankhede, however, the claim was refuted by Wankhede and he clarified that his father was a Hindu and his mother a Muslim.
The suit states that the tirade by Malik was aimed at Wankhede as Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was arrested by the NCB in January for allegedly trading in contraband.
Dhyandev has further stated in the suit that the daily insinuations through press releases and interviews by Malik and his family members were tortious and defamatory and the same had caused irreparable damage, harm and prejudice to him and his family members and loss to their name and societal image too. The suit also claims that Malik calling the Wankhede family fraud and questioning their religious beliefs had also affected the criminal law practice of his lawyer daughter Yasmeen.
Senior advocate Atul Damle representing Malik submitted that as the suit was received by his client on Sunday, he did not have any instructions to make a statement to the contentions raised in the suit. Damle further stated that the suit was defective as Dhyandev could not be speaking on behalf of his adult children.
After hearing the submissions, the bench directed Malik to file an affidavit in reply to the suit by Tuesday and posted the hearing of the suit to November 10.