The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on the constitutionality and validity of the State government’s notification banning publication, sale and distribution of Jaswant Singh’s controversial book on Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the State.
As the three-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice K. S. Radhakrishnan, on Tuesday resumed the hearing on a public interest litigation filed by two eminent writers challenging the validity of the State government’s notification, an affidavit in the name of Additional Secretary (home), Dhananjay Dwivedi, was filed before the court on behalf of the State government.
The government reiterated that it could issue another notification giving details of the grounds for imposing the ban on the book. The affidavit said such details were not issued in the first notification because it was not in favour of publicizing those matters in the book on which the ban order was issued so that the objectionable parts did not come to the knowledge of the people.
The advocate of the petitioners, Anand Yagnik, however, raised objections to the government’s stand pointing out that by agreeing to issue another notification the government had virtually admitted that its August 19 notification was defective and did not stand the scrutiny of the court. He said the government should not be given time to issue another notification.
The court is expected to issue its order on Wednesday unless it preferred to wait till the outcome of a similar case in the Supreme Court on a petition filed by Mr. Singh himself.