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No, Bombay HC did not raise questions on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace but one by Biswajit Roy

By Shreya

Mumbai, Aug 29: The Bombay High Court on Thursday clarified that the book that was referred to during the trial of Vernon Gonsalves on Wednesday was not Leo Tolstoy's classic, War and Peace, that sparked mockery on social media.

Bombay HC

The book mentioned by the police in possession of accused Vernon Gonsalves was a little-known tome called War and Peace in Junglemahal: People, State and Maoists, which was edited by Biswajit Roy

The Judge on Thursday said it knew that Leo Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' was a literary classic and that it didn't mean to suggest that all the books seized by Pune police in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case were incriminating.

Bhima Koregaon: Why do you have 'War and Peace' at home, Bombay HC asks Vernon Gonsalves

The purported remarks also stirred up thousands of reactions on Twitter. The hashtag #WarAndPeace has been trending on the social media platform during the day.

The court's latest comments came after the counsel for Gonsalves informed it that none of the books seized from the activist's residence last year were banned by the government in accordance with CrPC provisions.

Justice Kotwal said, "You have made your point about the books not being banned. Besides, yesterday, I was reading the whole list from the chargesheet. It was written in such poor handwriting. I know War and Peace. I was making a query on the entire list that police has mentioned (as evidence)." Yug Chaudhary, counsel for co-accused Sudha Bahrdwaj, then told the court that the 'War and Peace' that the court had referred to on Wednesday was a collection of essays edited by one Biswajit Roy, and was titled War and Peace in Junglemahal: People, State and Maoists.

On Wednesday, the court had asked, "War and Peace is about war in another country. Why were you keeping these books at your house." The judge had also referred to a CD titled "Rajya Dhaman Virodhi" and said the title "clearly suggested" it is material against the state. "Why were you keeping this in your house," he had asked Gonsalves.

Tolstoy's classic novel about Russia during Napoleonic wars became a point of contention during Wednesday's hearing after the Pune Police probing the case claimed that the book was part of the "highly incriminating evidence" it had seized from Gonsalves' house in Mumbai during raids conducted last year.

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