HarperCollins Move Delhi High Court Against Order Restricting Publication of Book on Asaram Bapu

Obhan and Associates, the firm representing HarperCollins Publishers India Pvt. Ltd. has moved the Delhi High Court against a District Court order restricting the publication of a book titled “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction”.

The book is authored by Ajay Lamba, Additional Commissioner of Police, Jaipur and Sanjiv Mathur. It is the true story of the facts surrounding the conviction of self-styled godman Aasaram Bapu and was scheduled to be released last Saturday.

Advocates Naman Joshi and Karan Khanuja, representing Sanchita Gupta, an aid to Asaram Bapu, filed the suit in the Patiala House Court against the publication of the book. The suit contended that the online portal ‘Scroll’ had published a chapter of the book, which was defamatory. The plea stated that this was likely to prejudice her appeal pending in the High Court of Rajasthan against her conviction by a court in Jodhpur under POCSO Act in 2018.

In this regard, the District Court at Patiala House, New Dehli on Friday, passed an ex-parte order to restrain the publication of the book.

The plea filed by HarperCollins in the Delhi High Court contends that the trial court did not consider the settled principles of law against the unconstitutional act pre-publication censorship. The trail Court passed an order of injunction without even considering the Book as a whole, or the context in which the passages that have been quoted by the Respondent.

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