Delhi High Court. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Sep 22 : The Delhi High Court on Tuesday set aside a trial court order which had put an ex-parte stay on the publication of a book titled 'Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu's conviction'.

Justice Najmi Waziri has directed publisher Harper Collins to carry a disclaimer that the appeal against the conviction is already pending.

After hearing the arguments from both the parties at length, the court had earlier this month reserved its order on the petition filed by the publishing house.

Additional District Judge R.S. Meena of Patiala House Court in Delhi had on September 4 directed the defendants to restrain from publishing the book till the next date of hearing.

The publishing house had approached the high court against the order dated September 4 passed by Additional District Judge Meena who had restrained Harper Collins from publishing the book, a day before it's release.

The book is a police officer's first-hand account of the arrest and conviction of the godman. It was slated to be released on September 5. The restraining order was issued on a plea filed by Sanchita Gupta, a co-accused in the case related to self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

Sanchita Gupta had approached the trial court seeking urgent relief against the publication of the book as the pre-released chapter published on a web portal was defamatory and was likely to prejudice her appeal before the Rajasthan High Court.

Sanchita Gupta had approached the court with a civil suit filed by advocate Naman Joshi and Karan Khanuja and the matter was argued by advocate Vijay Aggarwal.

While passing the order, the judge had said, "I am of the considered view that plaintiff's reputation is at stake and her reputation would suffer irreparable harm, if the ex-parte injunction is not granted particularly when the said book is going to be published on 05.09.2020." The book authored by Ajay Lamba, Additional Commissioner of Police, Jaipur and Sanjiv Mathur, and claiming to be a true story, however, is at variance with the trial record and most importantly interfered with Sanchita's appeal which was sub-judice and where the Rajasthan High Court had already suspended her sentence, the plea had said.

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