In a huge setback to NCB officer Sameer Wankhede and his father Dhyandev Wankhede, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to restrain Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik from making public statements or sharing social media posts about them. Dhyandeo Wankhede, whose real name, according to Malik, was Dawood, had approached the high court seeking an injunction on the Maharashtra minister’s future statements or social media posts about the Wankhede family.
Justice Madhav Jamdar of the Bombay High Court said that ‘it cannot be said that defendant (Malik) has acted with reasonable malice.’ According to Bar and Bench, the court said, “Relief cannot be granted at this stage, but then the defendant should conduct sufficient verification of documents before publishing documents henceforth.’
While Arshad Shaikh was representing the Wankhedes, Malik was being represented by lawyers Atul Damle and Kunal Damle.
“Although plaintiff has right to privacy, the defendant has right to freedom of speech and expression, there has to be balancing of fundamental rights” Court read order.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) November 22, 2021
Justice Jamdar said that the ‘right to priavcy is implicit in the right to life and liberty,’ adding that the ‘public have right to comment on the life of a public officer, but that has to be done with reasonable verification.’
“Although plaintiff has right to privacy, the defendant has right to freedom of speech and expression, there has to be balancing of fundamental rights,” the court added.
The court, according to the Livelaw website, said that ‘at the prima face stage, it cannot be said allegations are totally false.’
Malik has accused Sameer Wankhede of forging his caste certificate to avail reservation in the UPSC exam even though the latter was Muslim by birth. On Monday, the minister produced a photo of Wankhede’s nikah, an Islamic ceremony to solemnise a marriage.
Wankhede too has confessed to being married to one Dr. Shabana Qureshi, adding that his mother was also Muslim. The controversial NCB officer is now married to a Marathi actress, Kranti Redkar.
Wankhede is facing serious allegations of extortion in the Aryan Khan arrest case. He’s alleged to have arrested Shah Rukh Khan’s son to extort Rs. 25 crore from the Bollywood star. The NCB officer has denied allegations made against him.