Frontlist Book | HarperCollins welcomes lifting of injunction against book on Asaram Bapu

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“This book is an honest account of the evil that men do in the name of religion.”

New Delhi: Publisher HarperCollins on Thursday welcomed the lifting of the injunction on the book “Gunning For The Godman”, terming it a “victory for free speech”. The book is now available on all e-retail platforms and in physical stores.

Lifting the injunction against “Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu’s Conviction” on Tuesday, Justice Najmi Waziri of the Delhi High Court noted in his pronouncement that “where there is a fair discussion which is based on established facts and is ex-facie not malicious, there can be no bar to such discussion”.

The High Court also made observations against the filing of the case on the eve of the book launch which deprived the publisher an opportunity to present the facts before the trial court.

On September 4, a lower court here had restrained HarperCollins India from the publication and sale of the book without hearing either the publisher, or the authors, Ajay Lamba (IPS) and Sanjeev Mathur. The order was passed on the eve of the scheduled book launch on September 5.

“This book is an honest account of the evil that men do in the name of religion. The injunction was an attempt to suppress the truth. We fought for our right to publish. In the end, truth prevails,” HarperCollins Publisher Diya Kar said.

The book, soon to become a motion picture, is a no-holds-barred, first-hand account of the investigation and eventual conviction of the controversial godman Asaram Bapu, by senior IPS officer Ajay Lamba, then DCP Jodhpur (West), and the special crack team he put together for this case.

Reading like a true-crime thriller, the book covers the various twists and turns in the plot, before the accused was apprehended. Asaram Bapu, aka Asumal Sirumalani Harpalani, is now serving a life imprisonment in the Central Jail, Jodhpur, after being convicted for the rape of a minor and also has murder charges against him.

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