Wankhede and Son: The Caste That Wasn’t?

The documents submitted by Malik today comprise of Wankhede’s leaving certificate and admission form that mention his religion as Muslim.

The Sameer Wankhede and Nawab Malik fiasco does not seem to be ending any time soon. What started with a high-profile drug bust on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, in which superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was among those arrested, turned into a series of allegations and counter-allegations between politicians of ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and opposition BJP. However, the character at the centre of this whole controversy is the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer who was incharge of the raid- the agency’s zonal director Sameer Wankhede.

Wankhede and Bollywood

Mr Wankhede is not a new name on Indian TV news channels. He rose to prominence after he called in several bollywood celebrities for questioning in drugs-related case in the aftermath of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death last year. Actress Rhea Chakraborty spent nearly a month in jail in the same case.


NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede.


In case of Nawab Malik, it was his son-in-law Sameer Khan who was booked and arrested by the NCB in January this year. He was booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), an act that’s been widely criticised for being misused by the anti-drugs agency. Sameer Khan spent nearly eight months in jail before he was granted bail.

As Aryan Khan’s arrest started garnering attention after the cruise raid, the Maharashtra minister made advances to people involved to look deeper into the case and see if there was any conspiracy behind. What followed later was a series of allegations against the NCB and Mr Wankhede, ranging from presence of non-NCB personnel during the raid including one BJP official, to demand of ransom to release the arrested.


Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik addressing a press conference.


Curious case of Wankhede’s caste

The case, however, took a different turn when Mr Malik made a sensational claim that the NCB’s Mr Wankhede had lied about his religion and attested a fake caste certificate to get the government job. Mr Malik claimed that Mr Wankhede’s father Dnyandev Wankhede was a Muslim, and so was Sameer Wankhede. Mr Malik claimed the real name of Sameer Wankhede’s father was Dawood Wankhede.

After these allegations, Mr Wankhede’s father had moved the Bombay High Court against Nawab Malik for allegedly defaming his family and sought Rs 1.25 crore in damages.

The defamation suit was argued at length last week before the bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar in the Bombay High Court. After the hearing on November 12, the bench had reserved its order in the interim stage where Wankhede is seeking an injunction against Malik.

The HC had questioned state minister Nawab Malik if he had verified documents against NCB officer Sameer Wankhede and his family before uploading them on social media.

The HC had also sought an affidavit by Dnyandev to establish that Malik’s tweets contain false material.


Sameer Wankhede’s father has said that his name is Dnyandev Wankhede and he never went by the name of Dawood Wankhede.


Last week, the HC had asked Malik if he took due care while uploading Sameer’s birth certificate that showed interpolation on it. Justice Madhav Jamdar had said: “From day one I have been saying…is this the manner in which a BMC officer will write ‘SAMIR’ (in upper case).” He added that “there are also different handwritings” on the certificate. In his response, Malik had said that he had “reasonably verified” Sameer’s birth certificate and a ‘nikahnama’ of his first marriage.

Dnyandev, a retired state excise officer, had told the HC that his son’s original birth certificate may have been submitted in school, and the one produced by Malik has the name Dawood rectified to Dnyandev. He said because of his son-in-law’s arrest, Malik, to hit back at Sameer, made allegations against his family without proof. Dnyandev had annexed 28 documents, including his caste certificate, to show he was always known as Dnyandev and never as Dawood. A statement of his late wife that she was Muslim, married a Hindu and converted was also annexed.

New documents

Today, Mr Malik filed an additional affidavit before the Bombay high court.

Mr Malik’s latest affidavit includes Mr Wankhede’s school admission documents and primary school-leaving certificate, where he has been mentioned as ‘Muslim’. He also submitted that he has verified the documents with BMC records and the schools where Sameer has studied. Malik has alleged that despite being born a Muslim, Sameer secured a central government job claiming to be from the scheduled caste.

He produced a letter by Health Officer of the civic body’s E Ward with Wankhede’s complete birth details to show that in 1979 Dnyandeo’s name was Dawood K Wankhede and it was only in 1993 the sub-registrar corrected his name to Dnyandev. Further, Sameer Wankhede’s name was registered as ‘Muslim’.

Mr Malik claimed that even though there is a declaration changing Dnyandeo Wankhede’s name in 1993, there is no change in the religion of the new born.

Damning evidence

The documents submitted by Mr Malik today comprise of Mr Wankhede’s leaving certificate from St Paul High School, Bombay in 1986, admission form to St Joseph’s High School, Bombay in 1986, and leaving certificate from St Joseph’s High School in 1995. In the first two documents, the name of student is Wankhede Sameer Dawood, while on the third one it shows Wankhede Sameer Dnyandev. The first two documents show Mr Wankhede’s religion as Muslim, whereas the third one shows that he’s from the Mahar caste, which is a scheduled caste.

If the documents presented by Mr Malik are authentic, it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that Mr Wankhede changed his name and religion/caste on his documents between 1986 and 1995 after being admitted to the St Joseph’s High School in Mumbai’s Wadala.

This, however, makes things more difficult for Mr Wankhede who had denied any wrongdoing. This also raises questions over the claim by Mr Wankhede’s father that he never went by the name of Dawood Wankhede, because the new set of documents presented by Mr Malik show otherwise.

After the hearing on November 12, the bench had reserved its order in the interim stage where Wankhede is seeking an injunction against Malik.

Bombay HC allows new affidavit

Since the order is already reserved, Nawab Malik’s lawyers could technically not have been able to file the affidavit in the high court without seeking special permission from the judge.

Nawab Malik’s lawyers had filed a praecipe in the Bombay High Court, hoping that they will be heard by Justice Jamdar on Thursday. They also intimated Wankhede’s lawyers that they have to be present in the chamber of Justice Jamdar at 2.15 pm on Thursday.

Mr Wankhede’s lawyers were likely to oppose filing of any additional documents at this stage.

The Bombay High Court, however, took on record additional documents produced by Nawab Malik and Mr Wankhede’s father.

Justice Jamdar said he will pass an order on November 22 in Wankhede’s plea for ad-interim reliefs, and to restrain Malik from posting any further defamatory statements.

“Both parties are asked not to produce anything further,” Justice Jamdar said in lighter vein, LiveLaw reported.


It’s to be seen on November 22 whose version of the facts the court believes in, based on the documents submitted by both parties. What makes the order more important is the fact that the case has been watched and followed not only in Maharashtra, but across the country.










Dear Readers,
As an independent media platform, we do not take advertisements from governments and corporate houses. It is you, our readers, who have supported us on our journey to do honest and unbiased journalism. Please contribute, so that we can continue to do the same in future.

Related posts