Updated: November 25, 2021 11:18:31 pm
Maharashtra cabinet minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik on Thursday assured the Bombay High Court that he will not tweet or make public statements against Dhyandev Wankhede, father of NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, and his family members “directly or indirectly through any means of publicity” till the next hearing in the case.
Following this, a division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and M N Jadhav posted the hearing for December 9 on an appeal by Dhyandev Wankhede challenging the single-judge bench order that had refused to grant an interim injunction against Malik.
On November 22, a single-judge bench of Justice Madhav J Jamdar had refused to grant a blanket injunction restraining Malik but directed him to conduct “reasonable verification” of facts before posting any material on social media or speaking with the media against Sameer Wankhede and his family.
The appeal filed through advocate Diwakar Rai had sought that while the court in its order observed Malik’s posts on his social media handles “are actuated by malice or personal animosity” since the minister’s son-in-law was arrested by the NCB, Malik ought to have been restrained from making further comments.
Senior advocate Birendra Saraf for Wankhede on Thursday said that “mudslinging by Malik was unjustified and that social media handles have become a platform for firing loose cannons where any person can comment anything”.
Saraf said that Malik continues to make objectionable tweets and has not spared anyone from the Wankhede family including his client’s daughter and deceased wife.
Advocate Karl Tamboly for Malik said the minister had produced additional documents before the single-judge bench only after the court had said that there were interpolations in Sameer’s alleged birth certificate tweeted by him.
After the bench asked if Malik had filed a complaint about the issue pertaining to the caste certificate, Tamboly responded in the negative and said a vigilance inquiry is under way.
“Then why have you tweeted all this? This is for media publicity, media attention he (Malik) wants everyday. More so after his son-in-law was arrested. There is a forum for caste validity. Anyone can go there. Then what is the point of the tweets? What is he (Malik) trying to say?” the HC questioned.
Tamboly said Malik had tweeted only after Aryan Khan’s case, to which the judge questioned, “What does Khan’s case have to do with this? He is a minister, does it befit him to do all this?”
After the court asked Tamboly to take instructions from Malik as to whether he will refrain from making public statements about the Wankhede family pending appeal, the lawyer, on instructions, said that Malik will do so till next hearing, which the court accepted.
Tamboly also said that Malik will file an appeal against the observations made by the single-judge bench, wherein it was noted that the minister’s tweets were “actuated with malice and personal animosity”.
The High Court will hear the appeal next on December 9.
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