The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to impose a blanket injunction against Maharashtra cabinet minister Nawab Malik to restrain him from making any public statement or post tweets targeting NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.
Justice Madhav Jamdar, however, said prima facie (on the face of it), Malik’s tweets against Wankhede had actuated out of malice and personal animosity.
However, since Wankhede was a government officer and the allegations made against him by Malik pertained to activities related to the NCB Zonal Director’s public duties, the minister couldn’t be completely prohibited from making any statements against him, the judge said.
The minister, however, henceforth, must make statements against Wankhede or his family only after “reasonable verification of facts,” the HC said.
The HC’s judgement came on an interim prayer for such an injunction sought by Wankhede’s father Dnyandev.
Malik has been alleging that Sameer Wankhede, currently posted in Mumbai, was born a Muslim and had secured a central government job claiming to belong to a Scheduled Caste.
Wankhede’s father, Dnyandev had filed a defamation suit against Malik earlier this month in the HC, seeking among other things, that the minister is restrained from posting defamatory statements against him and his family on social media.
Dnyandev Wankhede has also sought damages worth Rs 1.25 crore.
Sameer Wankhede and his family have repeatedly denied all allegations made by the state minister.