The Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained the publication and sale of a book on Yoga guru Ramdev, titled Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev, which Ramdev claimed was extremely defamatory in nature and infringed his “right to privacy”. Justice R K Gauba restored the interim order passed by an Additional Civil Judge (ACJ) on September 27 last year banning publication and sale of the book. It stayed the order passed by an Additional Senior Civil Judge (ASCJ) on April 28 which had removed the ban.
Ramdev had moved the High Court alleging that the ASCJ’s order had given a license to author Priyanka Pathak Narain and publisher M/s Juggernaut books to publish and circulate defamatory and personal material about him.
Appearing for Ramdev, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan submitted that the order allowed the author to freely violate the Yoga guru’s fundamental right to privacy and his reputation without any repercussions. “Therefore, the order of ASCJ deserves to be set aside and the ACJ interim direction be restored,” Krishnan submitted.
Krishnan submitted that the ASCJ vacated the ban on the ground that the book was already available in the market, but “how can this be a ground to deny injunction”. “My prayer is to stop the circulation of the book. The assumption of the appellate judge was contrary to the law,” he contended.
In September last year, the ACJ had restrained the publisher from publishing and selling the book till further orders. It had also restrained M/s Amazon India and M/s Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd from selling the book online and said any pending delivery of the book be stopped immediately.
The book was published on July 29, 2017.
However, the author’s counsel argued that at the end of the book, there are extracts of the facts, including the details of persons whom she had interviewed. The counsel said Ramdev was among those who were interviewed and whatever he had said was part of different chapters in the book.
The publisher submitted that the extracts of the book were already in public domain since 2007 and Ramdev never raised any objection. It said the entire record of the trial court has not been placed before the High Court.