HC reserves order on former president Pranab Mukherjee’s book
The book was released when Mukherjee was the President and the suit was also filed before the trial court during his tenure.india Updated: Apr 09, 2018 23:01 IST
The Delhi high court was informed on Monday that a lower court has erred in dismissing a plea which sought the deletion of several references to the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya from former President Pranab Mukherjee’s 2016 book Turbulent Years 1980-1996 on the grounds that they hurt Hindu sentiments.
The book was released when Mukherjee was the President and the suit was also filed before the trial court during his tenure.
Justice Najmi Waziri of the Delhi HC sought clarifications from the petitioners after hearing arguments from both sides.
Appearing for the petitioners, their counsel Vishnu Shankar Jain, said that the trial court did not give Mukherjee an opportunity to file a written statement even when the advocate appearing for the former President said that they would like to place their defence on record.
The bench, which reserved the order for the afternoon, did not deliver it saying further clarification was needed and listed the matter for May 24.
During arguments, Jain said he was seeking deletion of “objectionable” portions in the book on the grounds that they hurt Hindu religious sentiments. He said, being the highest functionary, Mukherjee should not have made that comment as the matter was sub-judice.
Justice Pratibha Singh on April 6 recused herself from hearing the suit In the plea, a group of lawyers and a social worker asked the trial court to, “Pass a decree declaring those facts... are false and contemptuous... and against the religious sentiments of the plaintiffs and Hindu devotees in general... ”
(With PTI inputs)
First Published: Apr 09, 2018 23:00 IST