Maharashtra State minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik have alleged that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal officer Sameer Wankhede’s father, Dnyandev, has filed a defamation suit against him with the “oblique intent to suppress the illegalities committed” by himself and his son.
Malik has filed an affidavit in reply to the interim application by Dnyandev seeking temporary restrain on the minister from making defamatory statements against his family pending the hearing in the suit.
Dnyandev had filed the defamation suit in the HC after Malik shared Sameer’s purported birth certificate on social media claiming that the NCB officer’s father was a Muslim and his name was “Dawood”.
“Present suit is filed with the oblique intent to suppress the illegalities committed by Dnyandev and Sameer Wankhede which came to light in view of the evidence obtained and produced by me (Malik),” reads the affidavit refuting the allegations. It further adds that Dnyandev has “presented a convoluted version of events relating to the subject matter and presented a false narrative to mislead the court”.
Alleging “mala fide motive” behind the defamation suit, Malik has said that apart from misleading the court, it is filed to “obtain favourable order” and in the manner restrict his fundamental rights “to prevent him from revealing illegalities committed by Sameer”.
Dnyandev had alleged that Malik was targeting the Wankhede as his son-in-law, Sameer Khan, was arrested by the NCB in February this year.
Denying the allegation, the minister has said that he has been vocally critical about the NCB’s functioning under Wankhede since November 2020 and submitted proof of the same.
“NCB is interested in targeting celebrities to seek publicity as against their duty to track down drug traffickers,” Malik has said in his affidavit and emphasized that “The aforesaid statement was made by me in my capacity as national spokesperson of the NCP.”
The minister has further claimed that all the material published by him on social media has been done with “bona fide intent” to “reveal the illegal conduct” of Dnyandev’s son, Sameer Wankhede. Also, Malik has said that he published the material after “reasonably verifying” the truth of the same and “believing the same to be true”.
Alleging that Sameer was leading a dual life, i.e. as a Muslim and as a Hindu, Malik has alleged Sameer had illegally obtained his job under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category, thereby depriving a genuine SC candidate of the opportunity to have that job.
Malik has clarified that he has mentioned the zonal officer’s religion “only to show how he illegally obtained a government job”.
“I respectfully submit that, none of the material published by me is derogatory to the plaintiff or his family members as the same only relates to the illegal conduct the plaintiff’s son Mr Sameer Wankhede and in view of same no restrictions can be imposed upon my freedom of speech and expression which is guaranteed to me under the Constitution of India,” adds his affidavit.
Alleging further professional misconduct on the part of Sameer, Malik has further claimed in the affidavit that he has received information about 26 raids conducted under the officer. In some of these cases, no drug was seized and in other cases, the contraband seized was dishonestly inflated. Malik has sent the details of the same to NCB office in October this year.
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