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Read Baba Ramdev petition & Juggernaut appeal vs Baba Ramdev biog injunction

Baba Ramdev injunction against biography challenged
Baba Ramdev injunction against biography challenged

A Delhi district court today heard the appeal of publishing house Juggernaut against an order restraining it from publishing the book “Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev”.

Advocate Rajshekhar Rao, instructed by advocate Satyajit Sarna, has challenged the ex-parte injunction granted to Baba Ramdev on 4 August by the court of the ACJ -CCJ – ARC (East), at the Karkardooma district courts.

“The court issued the injunction on an ex parte basis – which means the publisher and author were not asked to present their version of events. This was done in order to avoid ‘the delay which would be caused during the process of serving the notice and hearing the defendants,’,” according to The Wire which first reported the order.

Shahdara Bar Association president Pramod Nagar is acting for Baba Ramdev's power of attorney holder Dr Jaideep Arya, who won the injunction against Juggernaut and its vendors, Flipkart and Amazon India from publishing and selling the book, which is written by journalist Priyanka Pathak-Narain.

Advocate Amit Agrawal is acting for Pathak-Narain.

The case was heard for two hours today afternoon, and arguments will continue tomorrow.

The suit

According to Ramdev's suit for defamation against Narain, Juggernaut and the others, Narain has allegedly added unverified “malicious” content to the book, and also in social media posts, to make it saleable. Allegedly, she had also selectively chosen material from her interviews about him to make it slanderous, adds the suit. The petition states:

[...] to enhance the sale of book certain content has been added without any evidence and verification of the same. It is evident that[Narain, Juggernaut, Flipkart and Amazon India] deliberately with a view to enhance the sale of the book have added the controversial content without verifying the same in a most irresponsible manner just for their economic gain and popularity

Ramdev's petition refers to media links about the book, such as a piece on website Devbhoomi which states, “By massaging feet he became a saint, by clutching necks he became an abbot: is how his truth has been told” (translated from Hindi).

Read Baba Ramdev's petition (PDF)

The appeal

Sarna has challenged the injunction on the ground that it was passed as a final order, without even considering the material on record, in undue haste on the date of the institution of a “technicaly defective” suit and “has in effect censored a book without consideration of its contents or merits, and in the teeth of the law” through a “broad and sweeping injunction”.

The appeal states:

The book Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev (“Book”) is a truthful, even handed and balanced consideration of the history of Baba Ramdev, which has been meticulously researched and is based on public and recorded sources, most of which have been in the public domain for years.

The Book is not based on fresh or new claims or statements, and the contents are based factually on happenings reported on widely in the media and made available to the public prior to the publication of the Book. All of the statements that the Impugned Order has drawn attention to have been stated earlier by mainstream newspapers such as the Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express, Times of India etc.

None of these articles have occasioned such a civil suit or any other action in law, and it is only now that [Ramdev] has chosen to take action.

Reviews of the book have been widely published, with an excerpt available on Mint, for instance.

Read Juggernaut's appeal (PDF)

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