Wankhede-Malik defamation suit: HC refuses to pass injunction on Maha minister
The Bombay high court on Monday refused to pass a blanket injunction on Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and restrain the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader from posting statements against Narcotics Control Bureau’s Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede and his family.
The high court said Wankhede, being a public officer, could be subjected to such scrutiny, while stating that Malik should conduct sufficient verification of documents before posting them online to ensure that there are no defamatory statements made against his family.
A single-bench judge of Madhav Jamdar’s ruling came while hearing a plea filed by Dnyandev Wankhede, father of the NCB's zonal director, seeking interim reliefs against Malik, including an injunction prohibiting him from posting any defamatory content on social media against him and his family. He had also sought damages worth ₹1.25 crore.
Further, the court held that the right to privacy of Dnyandeo Wankhede was necessary, even as it said that prima facie Malik's allegations against the senior NCB officer were totally false.
Malik has levelled several serious allegations against Wankhede, including extortion attempts and fraudulent use of caste card to get his job. The senior minister's tirade against the NCB officer began soon after Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son was arrested by the federal agency following a raid on a Goa-bound cruise ship off Mumbai's coast in early October.
Wankhede has denied all allegations against him. However, a new team has taken over the NCB's investigation into the drugs bust case, while an internal vigilance probe was also underway. Besides, the Mumbai Police is also investigating into allegations of extortion as levelled by the NCB's independent witness Prabhakar Sail.
(With inputs from bureau and agencies)
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