The Bombay High Court on Monday granted six weeks to Maharashtra cabinet minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik and seven others to file their replies in the Rs 1,000-crore defamation suit filed by the Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank.
The bank, represented by advocate Akhilesh Choubey, told the court that between July 1 and 4, several defamatory hoardings containing “baseless, shocking and defamatory statements against the bank” were put up at busy intersections in Mumbai, visited by lakhs of Mumbaikars. The bank claimed that these hoardings “seriously jeopardize his reputation.”
Further, the bank said that they had sent notices to Malik and others in the matter. Malik in his reply denied putting up these posters at the above places and in fact asked the bank to withdraw the notice and there is no question of Malik publicly apologizing on the issue.
The NCP leader’s reply stated that neither Malik nor his political party i.e. Nationalist Congress Party is in any way associated or involved in putting up the above hoardings. The reply read, “My client (Malik) says that your client (bank) is trying to involve my client in some dispute by making false allegations against my client.”
According to the bank, Malik and others have made scathing and derogatory remarks with the intention of tarnishing and tarnishing his image.
“It is prima facie intended to damage the reputation and integrity of the Bank. By the said hoardings, an attempt is made to tarnish the image of the Bank in front of the public at large, thereby causing damage to the operations and business of the Bank. The impression sought to be made by Malik and others in the minds of the public at large is that the bank is corrupt and their deposits are not safe,” the defamation suit reads.
The plea prayed that Malik and others be directed to put up the hoardings at the same places where the defamatory hoardings were put up to seek a full and unconditional apology from the bank and to withdraw the charges leveled against the bank.
The suit also prayed that each of the defendants, being Malik and others, be ordered jointly or severally and to pay to the plaintiff Rs 1000 cr or such other amount.