The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition to cease the publication, circulation and sale of Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book, Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood In Our Times, PTI reported.

The book on the Ayodhya verdict has been at the centre of a controversy in November for its comparison of “a robust version of Hindutva” to terrorist groups ISIS and Boko Haram.

Apart from facing backlash from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s leaders, two lawyers, Vineet Jindal and Raj Kishore, had filed a complaint against Khurshid earlier this month.

The High Court on Tuesday was hearing the plea of the lawyers, whose counsel had said that the book could disrupt public peace, Live Law reported.

“Ask people not to buy the book or read it,” the court replied. “Tell people it is badly authored, read something better. What can we do if people are so sensitive? Nobody asked them to read it.”

On November 17, an additional civil judge in Delhi had also refused to stop publication, circulation and sale of Khurshid’s book based on a complaint by Hindu Sena president Vishnu Gupta.

The judge had said that the author and publisher had the right to write and publish the book.

The controversy

An excerpt from the senior Congress leader’s book, Sunrise Over Ayodhya, read: “Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years”.

But a controversy began after Bharatiya Janata Party’s Information Technology cell head Amit Malviya shared the passage on Twitter. Following this, other BJP leaders also criticised the excerpt in Khurshid’s book about the Babri Masjid dispute.

Khurshid’s home in Uttarakhand’s Nainital city was set on fire on November 15. Four people were arrested in the case.

Meanwhile, Khurshid had responded to the criticism saying that he held Hinduism “in the highest esteem”. “Hindu religion is a very beautiful thing,” he added. “There can be no greater insult than somebody on behalf of the BJP or RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] going and filing a complaint.”