Harper Collins Moves Delhi HC Against Order Restraining Publication Of Book On Asaram Bapu’s Rape Case On Plea By Co-Convict

first_imgNews UpdatesHarper Collins Moves Delhi HC Against Order Restraining Publication Of Book On Asaram Bapu’s Rape Case On Plea By Co-Convict LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK7 Sep 2020 5:28 AMShare This – xHarperCollins Publishers India Pvt. Ltd. has moved the Delhi High Court against a District Court order (Patiala House), restraining publication of a book titled “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction”. The company represented by Obhan & Associates has contended that while passing the impugned order, the trial court fell into “serious error” in…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginHarperCollins Publishers India Pvt. Ltd. has moved the Delhi High Court against a District Court order (Patiala House), restraining publication of a book titled “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction”. The company represented by Obhan & Associates has contended that while passing the impugned order, the trial court fell into “serious error” in not considering the settled principles of law against pre-publication censorship which is unconstitutional as it is against the right to freedom of expression under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India. It is submitted that 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. The book, alleged to be a true story of the facts surrounding the conviction of self-styled godman Aasaram Bapu was authored by Ajay Lamba, Additional Commissioner of Police, Jaipur and Sanjiv Mathur. It was scheduled to be released last Saturday. However, the District Court at Patiala House, New Dehli on Friday, passed an ex-parte order to restrain the publication of the book, in a civil suit filed by Sanchita Gupta (Respondent No.1/Plaintiff), who was convicted by a court in Jodhpur under POCSO Act in 2018 as an aid of Asaram Bapu in a case related to the rape of a minor girl. Delhi Court Stays Publication Of Book On Asaram Bapu’s Rape Case On Plea By Co-Convict Gupta filed the suit through advocates Naman Joshi and Karan Khanuja contending that the online portal ‘Scroll’ had published a chapter of the book, which was defamatory and was likely to prejudice her appeal pending in the High Court of Rajasthan against the conviction. The Company has stated that the Impugned Order is “grossly premature” and has been obtained by “gross suppression and concealment of facts”. It has submitted, “The Respondent No.1/Plaintiff ought to have filed a copy of the Judgment, which would have shed light on the facts that appear in public record against her. In order to mislead the Ld. Trial Court, the Respondent No.1/Plaintiff, deliberately chose to not file the Judgement and selectively reproduced extracts from the Book.” It is pointed out that the material to be published in the Book which is alleged to be defamatory of the Respondent No.1/Plaintiff is already in the public domain and subject to wide reporting, discussion and debate, including in the news reports and video coverage of her role in the Asaram case. The Company has submitted that the 2018 Judgment whereby the Respondent No. 1/ Plaintiff was convicted, clearly refers to the “conspiracy” hatched by her and Asaram. It is alleged that the Judgment clearly records that she used to scare the victim and her family with stories of evil spirits and asked them to take the victim to Asaram. It is also contended that publication of the book shall not prejudice the ongoing judicial proceeding before the Rajasthan High Court inasmuch as the 2018 conviction Judgment against and various media reports leave no room for doubt that she is publicly known to have been convicted in the Asaram case. “In concealing these documents and facts, the Respondent No.1/Plaintiff has mislead the Ld. Trial Court into believing that she has a reputation in society which is deserving of protection or which has been damaged by the publication of the Book,” the plea states. Next Storylast_img read more