Mumbai, Feb 3 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought NCP leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik’s reply to the contempt plea filed by Dnyandev Wankhede, father of the former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sameer Wankhede.
A bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav also sought to know why Malik was repeatedly taking concessions with the undertaking he submitted to the high court on not making any defamatory comments against the Wankhedes. It said that if the minister was to misuse the concession in such a manner then the court will withdraw it.
Last month, Dnyandev Wankhede had filed the contempt petition in the high court against Malik, alleging that the minister had committed a wilful breach of his undertaking given to the court in December last year of not making or posting any defamatory comments against the Wankhedes.
Dnyandev Wankhede had filed a suit in the high court last year, seeking to restrain Malik from making any public comments or social media posts that were defamatory and derogatory to him, his son Sameer, or their family.
During previous hearings on the suit, Malik had undertaken before the high court to not make any such statements against the Wankhedes until further hearing in court. However, he had clarified at the time that such undertaking did not restrain him from making comments on a public servant’s (including Sameer Wankhede’s) discharge of official duties.
In his contempt plea, Dnyandev Wankhede claimed that Malik had breached his undertaking and made objectionable comments “as recently as January 2 and 3 this year”.
On Thursday, Dnyandev’s counsel senior advocate Birendra Saraf pointed out some comments made by Malik after having given his undertaking, against Sameer Wankhede pertaining to his caste certificate, and the cruise ship drug seizure case involving actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.
“These are not issues pertaining to discharge of his (Sameer’s) official duties thereafter (after the undertaking given by Malik). It is all about the past. His statements say illegal licence, fake caste certificate and Aryan Khan drug case,” Saraf said.
He told the high court that this was a case for initiating contempt proceedings against Malik.
Irked after going through Malik’s comments, Justice Kathawalla said if the minister was to misuse the concession in such a manner then the court will withdraw it.
“If you take concession with this intention, then we will withdraw the concession. Directly or indirectly, you (Malik) want to defame the man (Wankhede). What is your intention?” the bench asked.
Malik’s counsel Ramesh Dube said the minister wanted to file his reply to show that these statements fell within the concession (on making comments only about a public officer’s official discharge of duties.) The high court then asked Malik to file his reply and scheduled the matter for further hearing on February 7. PTI AYA NP NP
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Source: The Print