5 July 2010 From RY Deshpande [...] Dear Manoj-baboo
I am referring to the letter dated 21 June 2010 signed by Dilip Datta and addressed to Kittu Reddy, Ranganath Raghavan, and Sumita Khandpal. This was in response to the summary of discussion prepared by them after they had a meeting with you personally on 9 May 2010. [...]
But let me first quote what is said in the 21st June letter from the trustees:
As regards the book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, the issue as to whether the content of the book is offensive, warranting a ban on the book, is the subject matter of adjudication by the High Court of Orissa, in a litigation initiated in their wisdom by some devotees there. It is therefore inappropriate for the Trust, whatever be the perceptions of the trustees to pronounce itself on an issue seized of by the Court from as early as October 2008 or so. We are informed that the Writ Petition lists out and quotes a very large number of specific citations from the book The Lives of Sri Aurobindo with a prayer to issue a Writ of Mandamus to ban the printing, publication and distribution of the impugned book. In June 2009 or so, a newspaper report from Orissa claimed that a group of persons have filed a contempt application in that particular Writ Petition in the High Court of Orissa against the trustees of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust for interfering with the orders of the Court. It is besides the point that the claim was apparently false. However the news report serves as a reminder that we should be prudent not to make any pronouncement on an issue being adjudicated upon by the High Court. Hence our comments on this topic can necessarily be only very general, not in any way impinging into the prohibited domain.