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Monday, December 06, 2021

Defamation case: Nawab Malik says ‘reasonably verified’ documents produced; matter in HC today

A single-judge vacation bench of Justice Madhav J Jamdar had on Wednesday asked Malik to file an additional affidavit to establish that he had verified the same material.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: November 12, 2021 10:51:50 am
Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik addresses a press conference in Mumbai, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (PTI Photo/Shashank Parade)

Maharashtra cabinet minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that he had verified the content he tweeted or posted against NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede’s father Dhyandev Kachruji Wankhede and his family members.

A single-judge vacation bench of Justice Madhav J Jamdar had on Wednesday asked Malik to file an additional affidavit to establish that he had verified the same material.

The HC had also sought an affidavit by Dhyandev, who has filed a defamation suit against Malik seeking Rs 1.25 crore in damages, to establish that Malik’s tweets contain false material.

Justice Jamdar has been hearing Dhyandev’s plea seeking interim relief, including deletion of articles, tweets, interviews in electronic and social media and a temporary injunction restraining respondents from publishing, writing and speaking to media.

Last month, Malik had shared a birth certificate, purportedly of Sameer, stating that his father is ‘Dawood Wankhede’. Sameer had then said that his father is a Hindu and his mother a Muslim.

Dhyandev’s plea claimed that Malik’s tirade against Sameer started only after the former’s son-in-law, Sameer Khan, was arrested by the NCB in January for allegedly trading contraband.

Malik, seeking dismissal of the suit, in his earlier affidavit filed in reply, had said it is “trying to curtail freedom of expression and it is nothing but an attempt to cover up the illegalities committed by the plaintiff’s son”.

Malik’s additional reply filed on Thursday said he has “reasonably verified the documents annexed to the plaint, which the Plaintiff is alleging to be defamatory of him.”

Malik stated that the documents or evidence by him are in two parts, the first consisting certificates issued by concerned authorities, including Birth Certificate of Sameer Wankhede and Nikah Nama of Sameer’s first marriage with Dr. Shabana Quraishi, and the second part consisting of tweets on social media.

“Record of Sameer Wankhede’s birth certificate is maintained by E ward of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai. I have verified the same and entry of the birth of Sameer Wankhede, for which the corporation has maintained the record can be found in the register maintained for record of birth at Sr. No. 3744 of concerned year,” Malik stated

Malik added that Sameer Wankhede’s Nikah Nama of first marriage was given to him by a relative of Wankhede’s first wife.

Referring to the tweets, he said that plaintiff Dhyandev in his plaint has admitted that “the photographs and information, which is only reposted by the Defendant, are taken from their social media accounts.”

“The plaintiff (Dhyandev), in the entire plaint has not averred that the Birth Certificate or Nikah Nama are false and fabricated nor have denied that the posts which are reproduced by the Defendant, are not posted by them,” the additional affidavit stated and sought dismissal of the plea.

HC will hear the case next on Friday, November 12.

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