Guwahati: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Yoga guru Ramdev on a plea by a publisher challenging the Delhi High Court's order that restrained publication and sale of a book titled ‘Godman to Tycoon: the Untold Story of Baba Ramdev’, which is allegedly based on his life. The matter is listed for hearing next year in January
The yoga guru claimed that the book was defamatory in nature and infringed his “right to privacy”.
Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev was published by Juggernaut Books on July 29, 2017, but a civil court in Delhi restrained its publication and sale six days later. Another local court lifted the ban in April, but Ramdev then moved the Delhi High Court, which, in an interim order in May, reinstated the ban after which the publisher then moved the Supreme Court, which asked the High Court to decide on the plea. Following which a Delhi High Court bench of Justice Anu Malhotra, on September 29, passed an order stating that“right to reputation of a living individual” cannot be “sacrificed and crucified at the altar of the right to freedom of speech and expression of another” and restrained the publication and sale of the book.
While pronouncing the judgment, Justice Malhotra observed the book is written about a “living human”, who is “entitled to be treated with dignity and has a right of social reputation as an ordinary citizen even if he be a public figure”.
The book, written by Priyanka Pathak-Narain, investigates the past of the yoga guru and businessman, whose business interests currently include the Patanjali Group and had earlier included the Astha TV channel. Among other subjects, it also follows the trail of the deaths and disappearance of people closely connected with Ramdev.
The Supreme Court had barred the publisher and seller from publishing, distributing and selling the book until they delete references to the disappearance of Swami Shankar Dev and the murder of the Swami Yogananda, stating that there was no evidence to support Ramdev’s connection to the two matters. The Delhi High Court had also ordered the deletion of the same