New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday dismissed a petition that sought to ban the sale, purchase, and all forms of circulation of the recent book written by Congress leader Salman Khurshid. The book titled ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’ that explored the Apex Court’s landmark judgment on the Ayodhya dispute, has triggered controversies for allegedly ‘defaming and comparing Hindutva with terrorism’
The petitioner argued that the book violates the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution. Other than seeking a ban on the sale, purchase, and all forms of circulation, the petition also asked the court to ensure that it is not published henceforth in any form – neither print nor digital.
Justice Yashwant Varma dismissed the petition filed by a lawyer Vineet Jindal and observed, ‘Why don’t you tell people not to buy the book? What can we do if people are feeling so sensitive? No one is asking them to read it’. The court also sought to know whether any untoward communal incident happened in the country because of the references made in the book. This happened after the petitioner’s counsel told the court that communal riots might break out in the country because of the book. The court said that the breach of communal peace is a mere ‘apprehension’. ‘Tell everyone the book is badly authored. Ask them to read something better’, the court remarked.
Khurshid’s house was vandalised in Nainital after the release of the book, with the parts of it set on fire allegedly by mobs. The Kumaun police had booked 21 people in connection with the incident.