The Patna High Court has stayed the defamation proceedings filed against Juggernaut Books Pvt. Ltd. over publication of the controversial book, "Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev".
The order was issued by Justice Ashwani Kumar, who stayed the ongoing proceedings before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate-II, Hajipur, Vaishali, initiated on the basis of a complaint filed by one Amit Kumar.
Juggernaut, represented by Advocate Ashish Giri, contended that Section 199(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure mandates that a complaint for defamation is maintainable only when filed by the aggrieved person i.e. the person against whom imputation has allegedly been made.
It then pointed out that no imputation of any kind has been made against the complainant, Mr. Kumar, who had filed the complaint in his personal capacity alleging defamation of another person, i.e. Baba Ramdev. It, therefore, asserted that the lower court could not have taken cognizance of the offences punishable under Sections 500, 501 and 502 of the Indian Penal Code.
The petitioner had further submitted that the Magistrate had taken cognizance of the offence punishable under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the IPC, in absence of the previous sanction either of the Central Government or of the State Government, as required by the provision.
Taking note of such contentions, the Court then issued a notice to Mr. Kumar, staying the proceedings before the lower court.
Read the Order Here