Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik on Tuesday pleaded not guilty in two defamation complaints filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kamboj Bharatiya. There were three complaints of defamation against Malik but the BJP leader has withdrawn one of the three complaints against the former Maharashtra Cabinet minister.
Defamation complaints against Nawab Malik
Kamboj Bharatiya filed two defamation complaints against Malik in 2021:
One criminal defamation complaint filed raised grievances against a press conference held by Malik on November 7, 2021. Malik allegedly made defamatory statements against the complaint to tarnish the reputation of Bharatiya.
- Kamboj Bharatiya also filed a criminal complaint against Malik for his alleged defamatory statements stating that the “Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been acting under the influence of the BJP”.
The court issued a notice and Malik appeared and was subsequently granted bail by the court.
In both cases, the court had issued a summons to Malik pursuant to which he had appeared and sought bail. However, last month the court issued a non-bailable warrant against him for not appearing before the magistrate.
Malik and his lawyer, Kushal Mishra, reasoned before the court that NCP leader had been behind bars in another case registered against him on money laundering charges. Thus, he could not appear before court. Mishra requested the cancellation of the warrant, which was allowed.
Now, Kamboj Bharatiya will get into the witness box during the next hearing on October 25.
1 defamation case withdrawn
Kamboj Bharatiya, through his lawyer Faiz Merchant, withdrew one of the three complaint that he had initiated against Malik. This pertained to the allegation that Malik flouted Covid protocols and invoked charges under the Epidemic Act.
In 2021, when Malik appeared for the defamation complaints, a large number of supporters had gathered.
Bhartiya thereafter sought that a case be registered against Malik, who was at that point a sitting Cabinet minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
However, Bharatiya withdrew the complaint stating that the Maharashtra government had decided to revoke all cases pertaining to the breach of Covid norms. The court allowed the case to be withdrawn.