Orissa HC sets condition for release of Sri Aurobindo's biography

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Cuttack, Nov 5 (UNI) Orissa High Court has directed the publisher of a biography on the life of Sri Aurobindo, penned by Peter Heehs, not to release the book in India without obtaining a no objection certificate from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Union Home Ministry.

Acting on a petition filed by one Geetanjali Devi of Balasore, a division bench of Orissa High Court, comprising Justice I M Quddusi and Justice B P Ray, yesterday instructed Penguin Publishers to get the no objection certificate from the two Ministries before releasing the biography in India.

The biography, published by Colombia University Press, has already been released in the United States while Penguin Publishers is slated to release the book in India this month.

The division bench also directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to examine in detail the contents of the book and submit its report to the court by December 15 on the allegations of certain defamatory comments on the spiritual leader held in high esteem by the people of the country.

The petitioner alleged that the book is blasphemous in nature and the writer has made several aspersions on the life and character of Sri Aurobindo, regarded as philosopher, sage, poet and freedom fighter by the countrymen.

The petition further said the author, who claimed to be a scholar and one of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, had also made a certain description of Sri Aurobindo which was unacceptable and appealed for a ban on the publication of the book.

The division bench, while issuing notice to the publishers, has sought affidavit from the two Ministries and fixed December 15 as the next date of hearing.

UNI DP DPM SS1449

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