MUMBAI: Maharashtra cabinet Minister and senior NCP leader Nawab Malik on Thursday informed Bombay high court that he would not make any public posts or tweets against Dnyandev Wankhede or his son Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede and family, through any means of publication, till December 9 when the court will hear next an appeal seeking to restrain him.
Malik’s counsel Karl Tamboly made the statement “without prejudice’’ when a bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav asked him to take instructions from his client and inform it whether he would stay his hands for a week or so till further hearing or it would pass orders. The HC accepted the statement as an undertaking to court and posting it to December 9 said, “all contentions of the parties are kept open.’’
The HC division bench was hearing an appeal filed by Dnyandev Wankhede who challenged the single judge bench order of Madhav Jamdar of November 22 that found Malik’s tweets to be “actuated by malice or personal animosity’’ but had not restrained the minister from making any alleged defamatory tweets or public statements in future.
Justice Kathawalla on the bench orally said, “He is a minister. Does it befit him to do all this and the Single Judge bench says it is with malice and personal animosity.’’ The bench reads out findings of the Single Judge bench and asked Tamboly, “Does the SC say if you come to this finding, you should not restrain?’’
Wankhede’s senior counsel Birendra Saraf said sought interim orders against the minister pointing to Supreme Court ruling that once court gives a finding of ‘malice’ an order to restrain should follow.
Saraf said Malik “has spared no one, even Wankhede’s late wife and daughter apart from Sameer Wankhede.’’
Saraf said, “Is it possible that anyone can sling mud at anyone? Social media handles have become a platform for firing loose cannons where anyone can say anything.’’
Saraf read out portions of the Monday order which accepted that Malik had not done reasonable verification before tweeting about his allegations that Sameer Wankhede had secured a public service job through false caste certification and allegations of extortion.
Justice Kathawalla speaking for the bench said, “Let us take one issue. Caste validity. You have a forum. Anyone can go there. First you have to get this set aside,’’ he said to Tamboly. The counsel said, “The caste certificate is of 1974.’’
The HC said, “whichever year it is. It is only media attention what he wants every day. More so after his son-in-law was arrested.’’
“Who has taken up the caste issue?’’ asked the HC. Tamboly said, “my client. These are my (Malik’s) tweets. I cannot deny.’’
Tamboly said he will file a reply to satisfy the HC bench that the single bench ad-interim order brooks no interference.
The division bench asked Malik’s counsel to take instructions which he said he did from Malik’s family member who was in court, attracting a remark from the bench “Why is she present? so now his he is involving his family too”. Tamboly said he is making the statement “without prejudice’’ to his rights and contentions.
He later sought to mention the matter again saying he would like to suggest something. The bench asked him to mention on Friday.
Justice Jamdar had in an initial order on a plea by Wankhede, who is a retired police officer, said it cannot give a blanket order to restrain Malik but had directed that he cannot post without reasonable verification first.
Saraf said that the judge had also noted that Malik had sought documents only after matter was reserved for orders but the Judge had however also said that allegations at this stage cannot be said to be totally false.

Source link Times of India


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