High court to Nawab Malik: Did you verify the information before posting it on Twitter?

The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday directed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik to file an affidavit to the effect that he had verified the information pertaining to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede and his family, before publishing it on his Twitter handle
Sameer Wankhede’s father has sought an ad-interim injunction order against Nawab Malik from making further remarks or statements in media. The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday directed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik to file an affidavit to the effect that he had verified the information pertaining to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede and his family, before publishing it on his Twitter handle (PTI)
Sameer Wankhede’s father has sought an ad-interim injunction order against Nawab Malik from making further remarks or statements in media. The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday directed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik to file an affidavit to the effect that he had verified the information pertaining to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede and his family, before publishing it on his Twitter handle (PTI)
Published on Nov 10, 2021 08:59 PM IST
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ByKAY Dodhiya, Mumbai

The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday directed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik to file an affidavit to the effect that he had verified the information pertaining to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede and his family, before publishing it on his Twitter handle, even as it said that Wankhede is an “officer” and his actions can be scrutinised by “any member of the public”.

A single judge vacation bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar is hearing a defamation suit filed by Dnyandev Wankhede, Sameer Wankhede’s father, who has sought damages of 1.25 crores and an order restraining the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader from making any false or incorrect statements against the Wankhede family that would defame or harm their reputation.

“You are a public officer....you just need to prove that the tweets (posted by Malik) are prima facie false....Your son is not only an individual, but a public officer and can be examined by any member of public,” the judge told Arshad Shaikh, Dnyandev’s advocate.

However, the court also asked Malik’s lawyer Atul Damle whether his client had verified the information posted by him on his social media account. “Is it not your duty to verify the documents before posting? Have you verified the authenticity of the documents as a responsible citizen and spokesperson of a national party?”

The bench gave time till November 12 for Damle to file an additional affidavit in that regard.

Wankhede’s father has sought an ad-interim injunction order against Malik from making further remarks or statements in media. He has also asked that Malik delete pertinent articles, posts and comments from digital and electronic media. Shaikh on Wednesday sought time to file an additional affidavit to show how the tweets were false and defamatory.

“The court is mindful of what relief to give. I am not going to pass a gag order. But he is also a citizen of India, he has come for damages through this suit. I also have to ensure that whatever has been uploaded was verified or not,” Justice Jamdar said on Wednesday.

In the past month, Malik has made a series of allegations against Wankhede who conducted a raid on a cruise ship on October 2, following which Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan (23) was arrested. Wankhede had also arrested Malik’s son-in-law, Sameer Khan, in January, in a case that Malik claims in a false one. Malik has called the cruise ship raid “fake” and accused Wankhede and others of plotting to “kidnap” Aryan with the aim of extorting money. Last month, Malik also accused Wankhede of forging a caste certificate to get a position in the Indian Revenue Service, and said that the Wankhedes were Muslim.

Dnyandev and Wankhede have refuted all claims made by Malik.

Malik told the HC on Tuesday that Dnyandev’s defamation suit was an attempt to cover up his son’s “illegal activities” and an attempt to curtail Malik’s “freedom of expression”.

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Monday, November 29, 2021