Jaswant Singh moves apex court against book ban

New Delhi, Aug 28 (Inditop.com) Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh Friday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Gujarat government order banning his book ‘Jinnah – India, Partition and Independence’ in the BJP-ruled state.

Singh moved the apex court directly under article 32 of the Constitution, which entitles a person to move the apex court directly in case of violation of his fundamental rights, contending it was a violation of his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (2) of the Constitution.

The Gujarat government, through an official notification on Aug 19, had banned the sale and publication of Singh’s book in the state saying that “contents of the book are highly objectionable.”

“It is of the opinion that the contents of the are misleading to the public and are against the tranquility in the society and interest of the state,” the notification said.

Contesting the state government’s allegation to ban his book, Singh in his lawsuit, filed through law firm Karanjawala and Company, contended that “the Gujarat government’s notification banning his book was a hasty and arbitrary one.”

In his lawsuit, Singh contended that though the state government accused his book of being detrimental to the tranquillity of the society and interests of the state and violated sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code, the government did not even identify the relevant portion of the book said to be detrimental to society.

He said he had written his book after five years of research into history of India’s freedom struggle and his book, which consists of 669 pages, has references and end notes running into 67 pages.

Singh said that he conceptualized the book in 1999, when then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee traveled to Lahore.

“It was in 1999 when I decided to explore the historical factors which led to the partition of India and did extensive research on the role of M.A. Jinnah before and during the partition,” said Singh.

He added that his “book essentially explores the transformation of Jinnah from being ‘an ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’ to becoming ‘the sole spokesman of Muslims’ in India.”