Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik has submitted before the Bombay High Court that the objective of the defamation suit filed by Dhyandev Wankhede against Malik is to prevent Malik from revealing the illegalities of Wankhede and his son Sameer Wankhede, who is a Zonal Director at the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)..Malik's submissions came in response to an interim application by Wankhede seeking to temporarily restrain Malik from making allegedly defamatory statements against Wankhede during the pendency of the suit.The dispute between the two arose when Wankhede approached the High Court after Malik shared Sameer Wankhede’s purported birth certificate on his Twitter handle, while allegedly imputing that Wankhede’s father, i.e. Dhyandev Wankhede was a Muslim and his name was ‘Dawood’.The plea stated that Malik’s statements did irreparable loss, damage, harm, and prejudice to the name, character, reputation and societal image of Wankhede and his family..In the 95-page reply, Malik stated that Wankhede has presented a convoluted version of the events relating to the subject matter of the present dispute and has presented a false narrative to mislead this court.“It is filed with a malafide motive to mislead the court and obtain favourable orders and in that manner restrict my fundamental rights and prevent me from revealing the illegalities committed, particularly by Sameer," the reply stated..Malik further contended that the suit was "filed with oblique intent to suppress the illegalities committed by father and son (Sameer Wankhede) which have come to light in view of the evidence obtained and produced by Malik.".None of the material published by Malik was defamatory or derogatory to the Wankhede family, but only pertained to the illegal conduct of Wankhede and in view of the same, no restrictions can be imposed on Malik’s freedom of speech and expression, Malik emphasised.He claimed that the suit was “a desperate attempt to restrict his fundamental rights and obtain a gag order to restrain from revealing the illegalities conducted by Sameer Wankhede and other facts relating to raids conducted by NCB under his supervision.".In response to the allegation that Malik's statements are in retaliation to the NCB arresting his son-in-law in a drug case, Malik submitted that he had been speaking against the arbitrary ways of investigation by NCB even before his son-in-law had been arrested by the central agency. He produced statements dating as far back as November 2020 to refute Wankhede's allegations that Malik's statements were in response to the arrest and case against his son-in-law."I had also expressed that NCB was interested in targeting celebrities to seek publicity as against their duty to track down drug traffickers," Malik submitted..At multiple instances in the affidavit, Malik stated that the record available showed that Wankhede was leading “dual life as a Muslim or as a Hindu” and had illegally obtained his job under the Scheduled Caste (SC) category, thereby depriving a genuine SC candidate of the opportunity to have that job.He pointed out that the mention of religion was only to show how he illegally obtained a government job..Malik also submitted the “revelations” made by him were in the capacity of a public servant and as a spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party.He claimed that his criticism helped the “appropriate agency/authorities to initiate appropriate steps against the erring public servant, i.e. Sameer Wankhede”..Malik also reiterated his previously raised contentions about maintainability of the suit in the present affidavit.He had earlier submitted that Dhyandev Wankhede could not have filed a suit in a representative capacity without taking necessary permissions under Order 1 Rule 8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.He stated that the alleged defamatory material had been published by him only after “reasonably verifying" the truth and believing the same to be true”.