Respond within a day to lawsuit filed by Wankhede’s father, HC tells Malik

Nawab Malik has levelled a series of allegations against Sameer Wankhede. He has claimed the officer is a Muslim and used a fake caste certificate to get a government job under the scheduled caste category
NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik addresses the media in Mumbai on Sunday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik addresses the media in Mumbai on Sunday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Published on Nov 08, 2021 04:13 PM IST
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The Bombay high court on Monday directed Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik to respond within a day to the 1.25 crore defamation suit that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede’s father, Dhyandev Wankhede, has filed against him. The suit has sought deletion of Malik’s articles, tweets, and interviews.

Malik has levelled a series of allegations against Sameer Wankhede. He has claimed the officer is a Muslim and used a fake caste certificate to get a government job under the Scheduled Caste category. He tweeted a copy of a birth certificate, which he claimed to be that of the officer and showed his father’s name as Dawood K Wankhede.

Dhyandev Wankhede’s lawyer, Arshad Shaikh, told the court that Malik was making defamatory statements and posting something or the other against his client and his family daily and hence the defamation suit has been filed. Shaikh informed the court that the officer had to clarify that his father is a Hindu and his mother was a Muslim. He added Malik’s claims were lowering the reputation of his client. Shaikh submitted that on Monday Malik posted an allegedly defamatory tweet against Sameer Wankhede’s sister-in-law.

Also Read: Malik alleges link between Wankhede’s sister-in-law and drugs business

Malik on Monday questioned whether the sister-in-law was involved in the drug business. On Sunday, he alleged Wankhede was part of a plot to “kidnap” actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan, for ransom. Aryan was among those arrested following NCB’s raid on a cruise ship last month. Malik called Bharatiya Janata Party worker Mohit Bharatiya, also known as Mohit Kamboj, the “mastermind” of the cruise ship drug raid case.

Malik said the NCB’s raid on Goa-bound cruise ship Cordelia on October 2 was “a plot to kidnap Aryan Khan for ransom, of which Mohit Bharatiya Kamboj was the mastermind”. He alleged Kamboj was part of Wankhede’s “private army” which routinely extorted people for money by threatening them. Malik added Wankhede allegedly set a trap for Aryan with the help of Kamboj’s brother-in-law, Rishabh Sachdeva. He added the “private army” will be exposed as the state government has formed a special investigation team to investigate his allegations.

In his plea, Dhyandev Wankhede linked Malik’s tirade to his son-in-law Sameer Khan’s arrest in January for allegedly trading in contraband. Malik has maintained Khan was framed and that a court’s order granting him bail vindicated them.

The plea said Malik’s claims have also affected the criminal law practice of Dhyandev Wankhede’s daughter, Yasmeen. Dhyandev Wankhede has also sought a temporary injunction against Malik and those under his instructions from publishing, writing, and speaking to any media.

Senior advocate Atul Damle, who represented Malik, submitted as the suit was received by his client on Sunday, he did not have any instructions to make a statement. He added the suit is defective as Dhyandev Wankhede could not be speaking on behalf of his adult children.

After hearing the submissions, a single-judge vacation bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar directed Malik to file his reply to the suit by Tuesday and scheduled the hearing in the matter for November 10.

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Monday, November 29, 2021