Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik on Friday tendered an unconditional apology in the Bombay High Court for “wilfully breaching” his undertaking to the court to refrain from making any statements against Narcotics Control Bureau Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and his family.
In his affidavit in response to an explanation sought by the court why action should not be taken against him as prima facie, Malik had “wilfully breached” its order, he tendered an “unconditional apology” to Justice S. J. Kathawalla and Justice Milind Jadhav.
“At the outset, I tender my unconditional apology to this Honourable Court in respect of the breaches of my undertaking given to this Honourable Court as recorded in the orders dated November 25 and 29, 2021. I had no intention to disrespect, dishonour, overreach or breach the said order,” said Malik.
He also said that his utterances were not any press releases or statements but were part of interviews with the media outlets when he was merely replying to questions asked by journalists.
“These responses were made by me in the belief that such responses made in the course of interviews were not within the ambit of his undertaking before the court,” said Malik, in reference to the defamation case filed by the NCB officer’s father, Dnyandev Wankhede.
The NCP leader assured that he would not make any more personal comments on the Wankhedes until the pendency of the defamation suit, and the apology was accepted by the court.
“I however believe my statement will not prevent me from commenting on the political misuse of central agencies, and the conduct of their officers in the course of performance of their official duties hereafter,” Malik said in the affidavit.
Following the undertaking by Malik’s lawyer Aspi Chinoy, Wankhede’s counsel Birendra Saraf urged that the Minister must not misuse the (above) statement to continue making defamatory utterances against the NCB officer.