With the Supreme Court lifting the ban on James Laine's controversial book on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Maharashtra Government today announced setting up of a three-member committee to explore options to stop its printing and circulation in the state.
"At no cost, there should be printing and circulation of the book in the state," Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said addressing a press conference after the customary session eve tea party which was boycotted by the Opposition.
Home Minister R R Patil said the state government would write to the Centre recommending a stringent Act to stop defamatory writings against the iconic figure.
The Chief Minister said his government shared the strong sentiments of the people of the state over the objectionable references made to the legendary Maratha king in the book.
"Since, the apex court has given its verdict of lifting of the ban, the state has decided to proceed legally in this matter. The committee comprising Advocate General, Law Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary(ACS) Home will explore legal options and advise the government accordingly," Chavan said.
Patil said the committee will give its views on the matter in two days. "The Centre has to enact such a legislation. The state government would write to the Centre recommending a stringent act," he added.
On whether action will be taken against historians in the state especially in Pune for providing defamatory information about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Patil said police had questioned the historians mentioned in the book by Laine and all of them had categorically denied that they had provided any such information.