Friday, January 20, 2012

Peter Heehs has appealed in High Court to withdraw the ban

CHITTARANJAN CHIRANJIT | Bhubaneswar, January 20, 2012 17:51

A bench of Odisha High court asked the Chief Secretary, Odisha to reply on the issue regarding the ban on Sri Aurobindo's biography in the state. A petition was filed before the High Court challenging the ban imposed by the State Government. The notice has been served to Chief Secretary though a special messenger.

Earlier, the State government had issued a gazette notification for prohibition over publication of the controversial book. The prohibition is for alleged disrespect of the spiritual guru Sri Aurobindo. The bench comprising Chief Justice V.Gopal Gauda, Justice Madanmohan Das and Justice Indrajeet Mohanty heard the petition filed by author Peter Heehs.

It should be noted that the book titled 'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo' was penned by Peter Heehs, a former inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Origionally, the book was brought out by Penguine Publication outside India. After it heat the stands, admirers and followers of Sri Aurobindo complained of insulting words about Sri Aurobindo. The issue has shocked a large no of devotees and that is why High Court had put a ban over publication of the book in India. Now, Peter Heehs has appealed in High Court to withdraw the ban on the book.

Another section of his devotees led by Geetanjali Bhattacharya, a resident of Balasore in Orissa, had filed a petition in the Orissa High Court seeking a ban on the book and action against writer Peter Heehs for sensationalising the actual story of the spiritual leader. She had alleged that it contains 'obnoxious and ill-shaped facts about the late spiritual leader'. The court has stayed the release of the book in India. "Peter will lose the legal battle as he has tried to tarnish the image of Sri Aurobindo", said Bhattacharya's counsel Millan Kanoongo.

The Columbia University Press in USA first published 'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo' in April 2008 and in India in November 2009 by Penguin India.

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