SC dismisses petition seeking ban on Malayalam novel ‘Meesha’

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition seeking a ban on the Malayalam novel ‘Meesha’, which stirred controversy for allegedly offending religious sentiments.

A three-judge bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, dismissed the petition saying ‘the writer’s imagination must enjoy freedom.’

On August 2, petitioner N. Radhakrishnan said that the book, written by S. Hareesh, contained some content which will hurt religious sentiments.

In the wake of this, the CJI-headed bench, comprising of Justice A.M Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, instructed to remove the objectionable contents or paragraphs from the novel.

However, the CJI also maintained that banning books should not be a culture unless it violates Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), under which a book, pamphlet or any other object is deemed to be obscene if it appeals to the prurient interest.

The petitioner had objected to a dialogue which allegedly insulted Hindu women. He also alleged that comments of the author about a particular caste in the book amounted to a racial slur.