The court of the ACJ-CCJ-ARC (East) at the Karkardooma District Courts in Delhi had issued the ex-parte injunction – without hearing either party – on August 4 based on a petition by yoga guru and businessman Ramdev. It had also barred Amazon and Flipkart from selling the book – written by Priyanka Pathak-Narain – in both print and online formats.
“The April 28 order overturning the injunction is a victory for free speech,” Juggernaut Books said on Saturday. “The judge noted in his judgment that the ‘usual course, in suits like the present suit, is to protect the right of freedom and speech guaranteed to an individual/journalist/author, as guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, unless the defense of truth, fair comment and fair reporting, pleaded by the individual/journalist/author, appears to be completely meritless’.”
The book will now be available for sale on the publisher’s app immediately, and it will be available on online and offline stores soon. Juggernaut Books’ Publisher Chiki Sarkar and Chief Executive Officer Simran Khara said they were delighted by the judgement and will “always fight for our books and authors”.
Pathak-Narain added that the injunction being lifted was a great relief. “Temporary injunctions can kill books and it is heartening that the judiciary has stood up for freedom of speech and of the press,” she was quoted as saying.
Ramdev’s petition said that he had received calls from devotees and also noticed the “irresponsible, false, malicious content” from the book on social media. “Certain content has been added without evidence and verification,” the plea claimed, further accusing the defendants in the case of adding controversial material in the book to enhance sales.
The book investigates the past of the yoga evangelist and businessman Ramdev, whose business interests currently include the Patanjali Group and had earlier included the Astha TV channel. It also follows the trail of the deaths and disappearance of people who were closely connected with Ramdev, among other subjects.