The Gujarat High Court on Thursday disposed off a petition seeking a ban on the sale of a satirical book “Feku Have Dilli Ma” (Feku Now In Delhi) which mocks and criticises Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Justice RM Chhaya disposed of the plea after petitioner Yogesh Doshi decided to withdraw the special civil application while submitting before the court that he intends to file a PIL on the issue.
“The learned counsel for the petitioner candidly submits that no personal right of the petitioner is affected. However, he has filed present petition as a citizen of India, and now intends to file a PIL. The petition stands disposed of as withdrawn,” the court said.
In his petition, Doshi had said that the book directly attacked PM Modi, the “holder of the most prestigious post of the country, namely the post of Prime Minister of India, with defamatory remarks”. In July last year, the high court had dismissed a similar petition filed by one Narsinh Solanki seeking a ban on the book, stating that the court did not agree with the reasons cited by petitioner for imposing the ban.
Solanki’s earlier plea in a lower court for restraining the book’s compiler– Congress leader Jayesh Shah– from publishing it was also rejected on the ground that it did not cause any damage to the reputation of the plaintiff. The lower court said the petitioner had the right to publish the book under Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression. He then moved in appeal in the high court.
The compilation was first published in Gujarati and has now been translated into English and other Indian languages.