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Updated on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 10:32 PM IST

FPJ Legal: Bombay HC asks Nawab Malik if info put out by him regarding Sameer Wankhede was verified

FPJ Legal: Bombay HC asks Nawab Malik if info put out by him regarding Sameer Wankhede was verified | PTI

FPJ Legal: Bombay HC asks Nawab Malik if info put out by him regarding Sameer Wankhede was verified | PTI

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday while hearing a defamation suit filed by NCB officer Sameer Wankhede's father Dhyandev Wankhede questioned the NCP leader Nawab Malik if he had verified the information before putting it out in the public domain through his Twitter handle.

Dhyandev Wankhede had sought a restrain on Malik from making statements against his family. Dhyandev has also sought damages to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore. As an interim relief, Dhyandev has sought the deletion of articles, tweets, interviews in electronic and social media, and a temporary injunction restraining respondents from publishing, writing, and speaking in any media.

A vacation bench of justice Nitin Jamdar has asked Malik to file an affidavit stating whether he verified the information before he put it on social media.

Justice Jamdar asked: “Have you verified before putting it (tweets)? Isn't it your duty as a public officer to verify (before uploading something) as a responsible citizen and national political party member?”

The court has also asked Dhyandev to prove that the statements made by Malik are false and not factual. “Show that the statements made are false. These issues can be raised by any member of the public because he (Wankhede) is a public officer. So first you show the statements are false because he (Malik) says they are true,” said Justice Jamdar.

Malik had filed a reply on Tuesday alleging that the suit was “an attempt to cover up the illegalities committed” by his son Sameer Wankhede and that none of his statements were false.

Senior advocate Atul Damle, appearing for Malik, contended that there is an uncertainty in the plaint regarding who uploaded the photos and tweets. He pointed out from the suit wherein it was admitted that whatever Malik was tweeting was obtained from the social media accounts of Wankhede's family members.

Damle argued that the tweets by the minister were based on documents and hence it could not be said that the statements were defamatory.

Dhyandev’s advocate Arshad Shaikh sought that the court issue an order temporarily restraining Malik from making any further remarks or statements in the media till the suit was decided.

Shaikh argued that the statements made by Malik were made with malicious intent.

To this, Justice Jamdar asked the advocate to demonstrate how Malik’s statements were false since truth is a defence for defamation.

Shaikh then sought time to file an additional affidavit to demonstrate the same.

Damle said that the interim relief sought by Dhyandev seeks restrain not only against Malik but also his associates and legal representatives.

Justice Jamdar said, “The Court is mindful of what relief to give. I am not going to pass a gag order. But he (Wankhede) 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.”

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on November 12, 2021.

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Published on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 10:32 PM IST
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