The Delhi High Court has reimposed the ban on the sale of a book on Patanjali founder and controversial godman Ramdev stating that some of the portions made its readers think that the saffron-clad man was an ambitious villain.
Justice Anu Malhotra, in her 211-page judgement said that Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev could not be piublished or sold until the some defamatory portions written against Ramdev were deleted. Among those controversial portions highlighted by the court are contents related to disappearance of Swami Shankar Dev and the murder of the Swami Yogananda. The court observed that no material evidence was indicated or existed against Ramdev in relation to these two issues.
The judge said that the right to freedom of speech and expression did not permit using defamatory insinuations against the Ramdev.
“…Portions of the book which make readers think that he is an ambitious villain, until so proved in the court of law, are necessarily to be restrained from being published and distributed for sale till disposal of the suit …pending before the civil judge, Karkardooma Courts Delhi,” News agency IANS quoted Justice Malhotra.
The court’s judgement came in response to a plea challenging the order of the trial court, which had lifted the ban on publication and sale of Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev.
The Delhi High Court also said that Ramdev was entitled to be treated with dignity.
A Delhi court had last year banned the publication of Priyanka Pathak-Narain’s book Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev. Among other things, Narain’s book also covered the death of Dixit. Another author, Bhavdeep Kang too wrote in her book, Gurus – Stories of India’s Leading Babas, that neither was a post-mortem done nor was the media told of Dixit’s passing. Dixit’s cremation was also done by Ramdev and Rajiv’s brother Pradeep.