On September 4, a lower court in Delhi restrained HarperCollins India from the publication and sale of 'Gunning for the Godman'. That order granted an ex-parte injunction, that is, without hearing either the publisher, HarperCollins India, or the authors of the book, Ajay Lamba (IPS) and Sanjeev Mathur. The order was passed on the eve of the scheduled book launch date of September 5. After hearing HarperCollins India, the High Court has now set aside the order of injunction.
The September 22 order overturning the injunction is a victory for free speech. The judge 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 HarperCollins an opportunity to present the facts before the trial court.
The book will immediately be available for sale on all e-commerce platforms and in physical retail stores.
Diya Kar, Publisher, HarperCollins, said, "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."
'Gunning for the Godman' is a no-holds-barred, first-hand account of investigation and eventual conviction of the controversial godman Asaram Bapu, by senior police office Ajay Lamba IPS, then DCP Jodhpur (West) and the special crack team he pulled 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.
HarperCollins announced publication of the book in the middle of July. Advance orders rocketed the book to top of the reading lists after a blizzard of publicity.
About the book
Notorious godman Asaram Bapu, aka Asumal Sirumalani Harpalani, serves life imprisonment in the Central Jail, Jodhpur. He was convicted for the rape of a minor and also has murder charges against him. Gunning for the Godman is the no-holds-barred, first-hand account of how Ajay Lamba, then DCP Jodhpur (West), landed the case and got a team of dedicated officers together. It is the story of how, foiling the Baba’s many attempts to get away scot-free, they arrested him in a matter of only ten days, and how they assiduously saw the victim and her family through a four-year long trial. This, despite the countless threats to not only the girl and her family, but also to DCP Lamba’s own family and team.
The book is soon to become a motion picture.