New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Maharashtra government for its intentions to remove derogatory reference made to the great Maratha leader Shivaji in a controversial book authored by American author James Laine.
The apex court, which had earlier rejected the Maharashtra government’s plea to ban the book titled `Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India` said, “Weak minds can not judge the words.”
The apex court said in its ruling that the state can not arbitrarily remove the pages where alleged derogatory remarks were made to the great Maratha ruler. The apex court also termed the forfeiture of the book as unfortunate.
The apex court had on July 09 upheld the decision of the Bombay High Court to lift the ban on the book, which according to the state government, contained material promoting social enmity.
A bench comprising Justices D K Jain and H L Dattu agreed with the High Court that the Maharashtra government did not follow the mandatory procedure while invoking the ban on the book.
The bench also ordered and directed the authorities to lift the ban.
The book was banned by the Maharashtra government following violent protest by Shiv Sena and a criminal case was registered against the American author and publisher of the controversial book.
Reacting to the Supreme Court order, Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) and Shiv Sena declared that they will not allow the printing and sale of the book in Maharashtra.
MNS Chief Raj Thackeray threatened that his party would resort to an agitation if the book was sold in the state. ``We will deal with it in our own style,`` he said in Mumbai.
Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray asked book sellers not to sell the book. Sena Spokesperson Neelam Gore told mediapersons here that though Supreme Court has lifted the ban, the book is not available in the market.
``As per directive from Party Supremo Bal Thackeray and Executive President Udhav Thackeray, we will take up the issue accordingly,`` she added.