Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that he had “reasonably verified” the documents and information pertaining to Narcotics Control Bureau zonal director Sameer Wankhede before posting them on Twitter, Bar and Bench reported.
A vacation bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar was hearing a defamation suit filed by Sameer Wankhede’s father Dhyandev Wankhede, seeking damages of Rs 1.25 crore for the comments he made about his son.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the judge had asked Malik to file an affidavit stating whether he had verified the facts about the Narcotics Control Bureau officer before posting them on social media.
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 November 5. In one of his claims, the minister alleged that Sameer Wankhede had produced a forged birth certificate to get his job under the Scheduled Caste category.
In his affidavit, Malik said that the High Court could check Sameer Wankhede’s birth certificate issued the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
In October, Malik in a series of tweets shared a purported photo from Wankhede’s first marriage to a Muslim woman named Shabana Qureshi along with their “nikah nama” or marriage certificate.
The Maharashtra minister told the High Court on Thursday that the document was given to him by a relative of Qureshi.
About the contents of his tweets, Malik told the court that Dhyandev Wankhede had admitted that photos and information were “reposted” from other accounts. Malik also said that Dhyandev Wankhede has been unable to prove that the documents posted by the minister about Sameer Wankhede were false.
Other allegations against NCB officer
Apart from this, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik has also accused Sameer Wankhede of being part of an extortion racket linked to drug cases against Bollywood actors. Malik alleged that Wankhede was part of a plan made by Bharatiya Janata Party leader to kidnap Aryan Khan.
Following the allegations, Dhyandev Wankhede had filed the defamation suit. He claimed that Malik, through press releases, interviews and Twitter, has made “tortious and defamatory remarks” about his son.
On Tuesday, Malik 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.