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[BREAKING] 'Can't Say Nawab Malik's Allegations Against Sameer Wankhede Are Totally False At Prima Facie Stage' : Bombay High Court Refuses To Pass Injunction

Sharmeen Hakim
22 Nov 2021 12:06 PM GMT
[BREAKING] Cant Say Nawab Maliks Allegations Against Sameer Wankhede Are Totally False At Prima Facie Stage : Bombay High Court Refuses To Pass Injunction
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The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to pass a temporary injunction order to restrain Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik from making public statements or social media posts against NCB's Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and his family.The Court said that prima facie, it cannot be said that the allegations raised by Malik against Wankhede are totally false."At the prima face stage,...

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The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to pass a temporary injunction order to restrain Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik from making public statements or social media posts against NCB's Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and his family.

The Court said that prima facie, it cannot be said that the allegations raised by Malik against Wankhede are totally false.

"At the prima face stage, it cannot be said allegations are totally false", Justice Madhav Jamdar said in its order.

The Court said that it cannot pass a blanket injunction against Malik, but added that he should exercise reasonable care to verify the allegations against Wankhede before making public statements regarding them.

The Court noted in its order that right to privacy has to be balanced with freedom of speech. Public has the right to comment about the actions of a person in official capacity. It also observed that serious allegations against Wankhede have been made by Prabhakar Sail, the panch witness in the Aryan Khan case.

The Court also observed in the order that it appeared that Malik's media statements were "actuated by malice and animosity", as they started appearing on October 14 following the grant of bail to his son-in-law, who was earlier arrested in a drugs case. However, it declined injunction saying that the allegations can't be termed wholly false at prima facie stage.

The Court was passing order in the injunction application filed in the defamation suit filed by Dhyandev Wankhede, father of Sameer Wankhede, against Nawab Malik, who has been posting a series of tweets and making press statements against the NCB officer in relation to alleged fabrication of caste certificate, religion status and misconduct in service.

On Friday, Justice Madhav Jamdar took two sets of additional documents from both sides on record and reserved for orders Sameer's father - Dhyandev Wankhede's- plea for ad-interim reliefs in the Rs. 1.25 crore defamation suit.
Dhyandev approached the court after Malik posted Sameer Wankhede's birth certificate on Twitter and claimed that despite being born a Muslim, he had secured a central government job claiming to be from the Mahar scheduled caste.
Malik further claimed that Dhyandev's real name was Dawood, and repeatedly posted about the Wankhedes.
Advocate Arshad Shaikh for the Wankhede's argued that Wankhede's father's name was Dhyandev and not Dawood. He placed 28 documents on record, including caste certificates, passport, Sameer Wankhede's school leaving certificate etc to show that his name was "Dhyandev" and he was from the Mahar community.
Malik represented by Senior Advocate Atul Damle and Kunal Damle said they are taking the defence of truth.
They submitted that Malik had reasonably verified all the documents tweeted and relied by him, including the birth certificate. So far as the remaining social media tweets are concerned, Malik added that the Wankhede's themselves says that the information is reposted from their social media accounts.
During an earlier hearing the court had observed that the highest degree of verification is required from a state minister and prima facie there are interpolations in Sameer Wankhede's birth certificate uploaded by Malik.
"But the level of verification from a person who is an MLA should be of the highest grade…. According to your own affidavit you are a member of the assembly and the spokesperson of a political party. You should be more careful," Justice Jamdar told Malik's counsels.
Malik then filed a precipice and requested to place additional documents on record. The documents include a letter by Health Officer of the civic body's E Ward with Wankhede's complete birth details to show that in 1979 Dhyandev's name was Dawood K Wankhede and it was only in 1993 the sub-registrar corrected his name to Dhyandev. Further, Sameer Wankhede's name was registered as 'Muslim'.
He claimed that even though there is a declaration changing Dhyandev Wankhede's name in 1993, there is no change in the religion of the new born.
The other documents includes a primary school leaving certificate and admission form of St Josephs School from 1989. As per these documents, Sameer Wankhede's religion is registered as a Muslim and father's name is Dawood Wankhede.
On the contrary, Wankhedes produced a certified copy of Sameer's birth certificate issued by the civic body yesterday, with his corrected name, "Dhyandev."
Advocate Shaikh contended that everything Malik tweeted was politically motivated and to avenge the incarceration of his son-in-law in a narcotics case:
"In conclusion, it is my contention that because his son- in- law was arrested and he was not able to get bail for 8 months, till September, for the purpose of hitting back and tainting the actions of my son the tirade was started. A perception is tried to be created that Sameer Wankhede is an extortionist and the family is 'bogus'."

Case title - Dhyandev Kachruji Wankhede v. Nawab Malik

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