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December 03, 2018

Baba Ramdev vs. Juggernaut Books: SC issues notice to Ramdev on Juggernaut’s plea challenging Delhi HC's verdict


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In the ongoing tussle between Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Juggernaut Books Private Limited, the publisher of the book "Godman To Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev”, the Supreme Court on November 30 issued notice to Ramdev on a plea by the publisher challenging the Delhi High Court's verdict restraining the sale and publication of a book purportedly on Ramdev’s life.

The court said, "We will issue notice to Respondent 1 (Ramdev)".

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the publisher, informed the SC that there were "some significant" and "very interesting issues" in the matter.

Thereafter, the court asked the publisher, "Why do you [the publisher] want Amazon India and Flipkart Internet Private Limited (as parties) unnecessarily in this?"

In September 2018, the publication and sale of a book supposedly based on the life of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was restrained by the Delhi High Court following Ramdev’s petition that it contains defamatory content.

In Baba Ramdev’s petition against the book titled “Godman to Tycoon” purportedly based on his life, the Yoga guru had said that the tome has defamatory content and harms his reputation as well as economic interests.

The right to reputation of a living person cannot be crucified at the altar of the right to freedom of speech and expression of another person, said Justice Anu Malhotra.

“This is so as the right to reputation of a living individual under Article 21 of the Constitution of India cannot be sacrificed and crucified at the altar of the right to freedom of speech and expression of another... ...And both have to be harmonized and balanced in as much as no amount of damages can redeem the damage to the reputation of any person and merely because there have been previous publications on the same issue, the same does not permit any repetitions of prima facie defamatory insinuations against him,” the court had said.

The court had stated that the publisher was restrained from selling and publishing the book till the time the alleged objectionable portion was deleted.

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