The Supreme Court on Friday refused to ban Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah’s book Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu because it said the author’s fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression must not be curbed, LiveLaw reported. The book is on the Arya-Vyasa community.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said that banning the book would not be appropriate under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. “When an author writes a book, it is his or her right of expression,” the court said.
The petition, filed by advocate KLNV Veeranjaneyulu, also wanted a chapter titled “Post-Hindu India” in Ilaiah’s book Hindutv-Mukt Bharat to be banned. The court refused to do this too.
“Any request for banning a book of the present nature has to be strictly scrutinised because every author or writer has a fundamental right to speak out ideas freely and express thoughts adequately,” the court said in its order. “Curtailment of an individual writer/author’s right to freedom of speech and expression should never be lightly viewed.”
On October 12, the Hyderabad Police had registered a case against Illaiah for allegedly hurting religious sentiments in Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu. Ilaiah has reportedly claimed that the Arya-Vysya community used to eat meat and were agriculturalists.
The World Arya-Vyasa Mahasabha had accused the writer of receiving funds from abroad, and sought an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation. They also demanded that the police book him under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly making money through illegal sources.
On September 11, Ilaiah had filed a police complaint after he said he received threat calls because of his book.