The Delhi High Court today called for the trial court records of a suit filed against former President Pranab Mukherjee seeking deletion of some portions of his 2016 book for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments. The direction was issued by Justice P S Teji, who set a long date of February 14 next year, to hear the appeal against the lower court’s order of November 30 last year rejecting the plea seeking deletion of certain contents from the book ‘Turbulent Years 1980-1996′.
The suit in the trial court was filed by a social worker and a group of lawyers objecting to certain references in the book regarding the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992. They had contended that it allegedly hurt the sentiments of the Hindus.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the plaintiffs, argued that the lower court wrongly dismissed the suit on the ground that there was no cause of action. He contended before the high court that there was cause of action when the book was published on January 28 last year and also after September 5, 2016, when the two-month notice issued by the plaintiffs for deletion of portions of the book had expired.
The plaintiffs’ advocates had claimed before the trial court that a civil suit can be filed against the President during his tenure in respect of any act done by him in his “personal capacity.” The President’s counsel, however, had opposed the plea before the trial court and said it was not maintainable.