The Delhi High Court has stayed the publication and sale of book on yoga guru Ramdev titled Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev, authored by Priyanka Pathak Narain and published by M/s Juggernaut Books.
Justice RK Gauba granted interim stay after Ramdev challenged the lower court order lifting the injunction on the book’s publication and sale.
Justice Gauba restored the initial injunction order granted by an Additional Civil Judge in August last year.
The court has now asked Juggernaut Books to file its response to the appeal moved by Ramdev challenging the order of the Additional Senior Civil Judge who had lifted the injunction last month.
ASCJ Jay Thareja had lifted the ban on the book while holding that there was no sufficient ground for banning the sale or publication of the book which was already on sale and the copies of which sold before the injunction order can be re-sold or exchanged to be read by new persons while also observing that Ramdev had nowhere expressly pleaded that the book violated his right to privacy or identified parts of the book which violated his privacy.
It had also held that Ramdev cannot claim that he is not a person of public interest as he has various books written on him on sale in the market including an authorized biography.
The court had lifted the injunction on an appeal moved by the author, who was represented by advocate Amit Agrawal and the publisher, who was represented by advocates Rajshekhar Rao and Satyajit Sarna.
The author and the publisher had challenged the order of the Commercial Civil Judge by which Ramdev’s application seeking a prohibition/ban on the publication and sale of the said book was allowed.
While Ramdev had been contending that the book is a breach of his right to privacy and reputation, and was in effect a biography published without his consent, the publisher pressed for his freedom of speech and expression.
The ASCJ had held that “the damage, if any, that may occur to the reputation and privacy of the respondent no.1, in the future, can also not be effectively regulated by banning the publication and sale of the book of the appellant w.e.f. 04.08.2017, as the copies of the book of the appellant, already published and sold by the respondent no.2 in the market, before 04.08.2017, will continue to be sold/resold/exchanged and be read by new persons. Further, in my view, the aforesaid fact makes it pragmatic for this Court, to protect the right of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to the appellant under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, which is the usual course of business, in suits like the present suit”.
Ramdev then moved the high court against this order and was represented by Athena Legal team of advocate Simranjeet Singh along with advocates Rohan Ahuja, Sonali Dhir, Mahima Deepak, Sanjeevi, Saurabh Sethi, Mohd. Umar Iqbal Khan and Siddharth Mahajan.