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SC lifts ban on Laine’s Shivaji

The Supreme Court Friday greenlit publication of a book on Shivaji that was banned by Maharashtra government.

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The Supreme Court Friday greenlit publication of a book on Shivaji that was banned by Maharashtra government.

A Bench led by Justice D K Jain upheld the 2007 order of the Bombay High Court lifting the ban on American author James Laine’s Shivaji — The Hindu King in Muslim India.

Maharashtra had banned the book saying it “contains material promoting social enmity”. But the Bombay High court was not convinced. It said the ban was not sustainable as the SC had already quashed criminal proceedings against Laine for allegedly “promoting social enmity”.

The state government then moved the SC,which upheld the High Court’s order.

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The state government,however,is not inclined to give up. “Our stand remains the same. But since this is the decision of the Supreme Court,we will examine the judgment when we get it’s copy and then decide,” Home Minister R R Patil said.

The book was banned shortly after activists of Sambhaji Brigade,the youth wing of right wing Maratha outfit Maratha Sewa Sangh,attacked Pune-based Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute — Laine had done research at the institute— in January 2004.

Former Sambhaji Brigade president Anant Chonde,who led that attack,threatened that if the book was sold in Maharashtra,the outfit would “execute a dangerous plan that would be difficult even for terrorists to execute”. “Bhandarkar attack was a trailer,now there will be no trailer,only the climax,” Chonde threatened. MNS chief Raj Thackeray too threatened to burn copies of the book if they were sold in Maharashtra.

First published on: 10-07-2010 at 03:54 IST
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