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Nawab Malik Vs Sameer Wankhede: Court tells minister to do a fact-check first, refuses to pass injunction

The Court said Wankhede, being a public officer, could be subjected to such scrutiny, however, stated that Malik should conduct sufficient verification of documents before posting them online to ensure that there are no defamatory statements made against his family.

Nawab Malik Vs Sameer Wankhede: Court tells minister to do a fact-check first, refuses to pass injunction-dnm
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Mumbai, First Published Nov 22, 2021, 5:59 PM IST
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The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to pass an injunction on Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and restrain him from posting any statements or any material on public domain and social media against Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, his father and other family members.

The Court said Wankhede, being a public officer, could be subjected to such scrutiny, however, stated that Malik should conduct sufficient verification of documents before posting them online to ensure that there are no defamatory statements made against his family.

The order declining interim relief was passed by Justice Madhav Jamdar in a defamation suit filed by Wankhede’s father Dhyandev Wankede (plaintiff). "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 said, Bar and Bench reported.

The Court noted in its order that right to privacy has to be balanced with freedom of speech. Public has the right to comment about the actions of a person in official capacity. It also observed that serious allegations against Wankhede have been made by Prabhakar Sail, the panch witness in the Aryan Khan case. 

Meanwhile, after the court's verdict, Nawab Malik took to Twitter and wrote: “Satyamev Jayate.” “The fight against wrongdoings will continue...,” he added.

The Court said that prima facie, it cannot be said that the allegations raised by Malik against Wankhede are totally false. “At the prima face stage, it cannot be said allegations are totally false,” Justice Madhav Jamdar said in its order.

The Court had on November 12, reserved order on the aspect of interim relief in plaintiff's defamation suit. The interim application by the plaintiff had sought a temporary injunction restraining Malik from making any statements in the future about the plaintiff.
 

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