The Madras High Court today set aside government orders banning two Tamil books written by K Senthil Mallar with a condition that “provoking contents” in the books be altered or deleted. A full bench, comprising Justices M M Sundresh, Pushpa Sathyanarayana and R Mahadevan, passed the order while disposing two pleas by the author of the books – ‘Meendezhum Pandiyar Varalaru’ and ‘Venthar Kulathin Irupppidam Ethu? – challenging the government ban orders dated May 30, 2013 and August 19, 2015.
The government had banned the books under section 95 of the CrPC, fearing they could incite violence and promote ill- will among various communities. The bench said the petitioner cannot call himself the voice of his community.
“The notification or de-notification of a caste from the schedule or another category are within the domain of the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment,” it said. “The decisions are still taken on the basis of social and economic factors by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Backward Classes.”
The court referred to several portions in the books which were allegedly in the nature of spreading hatred and disharmony and posing a threat to public order and security of the state. When the court cited the portions, the petitioner agreed to make certain alterations in the books. As most of the changes suggested by the court were also accepted by the government, the bench said: “Under such circumstances, the impugned orders are liable to be set aside, provided that the petitioner complies with the references and bibliography as pointed out by the Public (SC) Department, in addition to altering/deleting provoking contents.