If You Can Tweet, You Can Also File Reply In Court: Bombay HC To Nawab Malik In Defamation Suit By Dhyandev Wankhede
Justice Madhav Jamdar of the Bombay High Court on Monday directed NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik to file an affidavit in response to a defamation suit filed by Dhyandev Wankhede, the father of Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede. The plea seeks damages of Rs. 1.25 crore, apart from restraining the minister from making statements spoiling image of Wankhede family in the society.
You (Malik) file your reply by tomorrow. If you can reply on Twitter, you can reply here also, Justice Jamdar said, without passing any order restraining Malik from making any further statements against the plaintiff (Dhyandev Wankhede). As per the Court's order, Malik has to file his affidavit by Tuesday, and the matter has been posted for further hearing on Wednesday.
Malik has opened a salvo in media and social media against Sameer Wankhede and his family members ever since the latter arrested actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the Cruise Ship Drugs case on October 2. Dhyandev Wankhede, in his suit, has sought damages to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore from Malik for allegedly making defamatory comments against his son Sameer Wankhede and family through press conferences and via social media.
Dhyandev Wankhede's Advocate Arshad Shaikh told the Court that everyday some false and defamatory statement is being made by the defendant (Malik), which then leads to further comments on social media that are further defamatory.
Just this morning, the defendant has posted a tweet about Sameer Wankhede's sister-in-law, Shaikh argued, adding that at least till the matter is heard, the Court should either direct Malik or he should himself restrain from making any further statements.
Malik's, while seeking time to file an affidavit in the suit, told the Court that the plaintiff cannot speak on behalf of his adult children and also cannot attribute to Malik what other persons have commented on social media.
The suit has sought an order declaring Malik's statements as defamatory in nature and a permanent injunction restraining the Minister from publishing or making statements before the media, including his social media accounts.
The suit states that the statements by Malik that Wankhede is a Muslim, amounted to questioning the religious beliefs of the family by disputing that they are not Hindus.
It claimes that Malik's statements caused an irreparable loss, damage, harm, prejudice to the name, character, reputation and societal image of Wankhede and his family.
The suit also seeks directions to Malik to take back all defamatory statements made by him so far and also to delete all his tweets posted against the plaintiff and his family members.
Sameer Wankhede had, last month, led a raid on a cruise ship and the NCB claimed to have seized drugs onboard. Apart from Aryan Khan, 19 persons were arrested in connection with the case. Malik has repeatedly termed the cruise drugs case as "fake" and levelled a string of personal allegations against the NCB officer and his family.
With PTI inputs