The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that Narcotics Control Bureau’s zonal director Sameer Wankhede was a “public officer” and his actions can be examined by anyone, PTI reported.

The court was hearing a defamation suit filed by Wankhede’s father, Dhyandev Wankhede, against Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik. He had claimed that Malik, through press releases, interviews and Twitter, has made “tortious and defamatory remarks” against his son.

Malik has levelled several allegations against Sameer Wankhede, who had been investigating the Mumbai drug cruise ship case, involving Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, until last week.

The court on Wednesday was responding to Dhyandev Wankhede’s counsel, Arshad Shaikh, who had said why Sameer Wankhede was not obligated to respond to Malik’s allegations, Live Law reported.

“Your son is not an individual, he is a public officer, so his actions can be examined by any member of the public,” the court said.

The court added that Wankhede needed to prove that the tweets posted by Malik – which Dhyandev Wankhede has called defamatory – are false.

The High Court also asked Malik’s counsel, Atul Damle, if his client had verified the facts before tweeting. “You [Malik] are the spokesperson for a political party,” the court said. “Show that you have verified the information.”

Dhayandev Wankhede’s counsel requested time to file an additional affidavit to prove that Malik’s allegations are false, PTI reported.

The court asked Malik’s lawyer to file an affidavit stating that the minister had verified the documents related to Wankhede’s details before posting them on Twitter.

The court will continue hearing the matter on Friday.

Malik’s allegations

Malik has alleged that Wankhede used forged documents to get his job under the Scheduled Caste quota and claimed that he had been illegally tapping phones.

He accused the Narcotics Control Bureau officer of being part of an extortion racket linked to drug cases against Bollywood actors. Malik also alleged that Wankhede was part of a plan made by a Bharatiya Janata Party leader to kidnap Aryan Khan.

On Tuesday, the minister told the Bombay High Court that the defamation suit filed by Dhyandev Wankhede was an attempt to cover up the irregularities committed by the officer.