New Delhi, Sep 9 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the petition filed by leading publisher HarperCollins challenging a lower court order putting an ex parte stay on release of its book on self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.
After hearing the arguments from both parties at length, a single judge bench of Justice Najmi Waziri reserved order on the petition.
Additional District Judge at Patiala House Court, R.L. Meena had, on September 4, directed HarperCollins not to release “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story behind the Asaram Bapu Conviction” till the next date of hearing.
The publishing house had approached the high court against the order, which came a day before the release of the book, which is a police officer’s first-hand account of his arrest and conviction of Asaram.
The order was issued on a plea filed by Sanchita Gupta, a co-accused in the case related to self-styled godman.
Gupta had approached the court seeking urgent relief against the publication of the book as the pre-released chapter published on a web portal was defamatory and was likely to prejudice her appeal before the Rajasthan High Court.
Her civil suit was filed by advocates Naman Joshi and Karan Khanuja and the matter was argued by advocate Vijay Aggarwal.
Passing the order, the judge had said: “I am of the considered view that plaintiff’s reputation is at stake and her reputation would suffer irreparable harm, if the ex parte injunction is not granted particularly when the said book is going to be published on 05.09.2020.”
According to Gupta’s plea, the book authored by Ajay Lamba, Additional Commissioner of Police, Jaipur, and Sanjiv Mathur claims to be a true story, but is at variance with the trial record and most importantly, interfered with her appeal which was sub judice and where the Rajasthan High Court had already suspended her sentence.
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