A magistrate court here on Monday granted bail to Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik in a defamation case filed against him by former Mumbai BJP youth wing president Mohit Kamboj Bharatiya. The Mazagaon magistrate court allowed Malik’s bail on a personal bond of Rs 15,000.
The court had earlier this month issued a process (notice) to Malik on the criminal defamation complaint of Bharatiya, who had alleged that the NCP leader defamed him and his brother-in-law after the NCB’s raid on a cruise ship last month. The court had then noted that prima facie Malik’s statements harmed the complainant’s (Bharatiya’s) reputation and offence under Section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code was made out against the NCP leader.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) last month raided the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have seized drugs onboard. The agency subsequently arrested 20 people, including Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, in connection with the cruise drugs case. Aryan Khan and some others were later granted bail. Malik has repeatedly termed the cruise drugs case as “fake” and levelled several allegations against NCB’s Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede, who has denied the charges.
Bharatiya in his complaint filed before the magistrate claimed that Malik, in a press conference held on October 9 on the NCB raid and arrest of several persons including Aryan Khan, “purposefully and intentionally defamed” him and his brother-in-law Rishab Sachdev. He had sought action against Malik for allegedly committing offences under Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of IPC.
In the complaint, Bharatiya had alleged that Malik grossly misused his dominant position to defame him and his family with highly speculative statements without any evidence to substantiate his malicious claims. The complainant said he had issued a legal notice to Malik on October 9, asking the minister to cease and desist from making any further statements. However, Malik continued with the allegations and on October 11, Bharatiya sent a second legal notice, asking him to prove whatever has been stated by him or cease from making such claims.
When Malik did not stop from making statements, Bharatiya filed the defamation complaint before the magistrate. The court will hear the matter next on December 30.