HC seeks response from Pranab Mukherjee on plea against his book

The Delhi High Court today sought response of former President Pranab Mukherjee on a suit seeking deletion of some references to the 1992 demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya from his 2016 book on the grounds that they have hurt Hindu sentiments.

Justice Pratibha M Singh issued notice to Mukherjee on the plea by a social worker and a group of lawyers against his book ‘Turbulent Years 1980-1996′.

The matter was listed for further hearing on July 30.

The court in September last year had called for the trial court records of the suit after the plaintiffs (the social worker and the lawyers) moved an appeal against the lower court’s order of November 30, 2016 rejecting their plea to delete certain portions of the book of the then President Mukherjee.

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the plaintiffs, had argued that the lower court wrongly dismissed the suit on the grounds that there was no cause of action.

He had earlier contended before the high court that there was cause of action when the book was published on January 28, 2016 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. asserting that it was not maintainable.

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