THE DELHI HIGH Court on Tuesday set aside a lower court’s order to restrain the publication of a book on self-styled godman Asaram.
A civil court on September 4 passed an ex parte interim injunction, restraining the publishers from going ahead with the book ‘Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction’.
Harper Collins Publishers Limited challenged the interim injunction before the Delhi High Court and argued that the book is based on the trial record and the judgment, which are public documents.
The court was told that some 5,000 copies of the book have already been published and it was on the verge of release when the ex parte order was passed.
Justice Najmi Waziri, in the verdict pronounced on Tuesday, directed that the copies which have already been printed be sold along with a flyer containing the information that the trial court judgment, which forms basis of the book, is under challenge before the High Court in Rajasthan. The disclaimer shall also be carried on electronic platforms, said the order. The judgment copy was not immediately available.
Sanchita Gupta, a co-accused in the case against Asaram, had earlier this month approached the civil court in Delhi against release of the book and sought that the publishers be restrained from selling it on the ground that the matter is sub-judice before the High Court in Rajasthan.
The book has been authored by IPS officer Ajay Pal Lamba along with Sanjeev Mathur. Lamba had led the police team which arrested Asaram, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in a POCSO case in 2018. Gupta was a warden in the hostel where the victim was staying in 2013.
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