SC closes chapter on Shivaji book

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Mon Apr 9 02:22:32 UTC 2007

Headline From SAMACHAR.COM

SC closes chapter on Shivaji book
Rakesh Bhatnagar
Monday, April 09, 2007 02:59 IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has quashed criminal proceedings against American
historian James W Laine for his controversial book, Shivaji: Hindu King in
Islamic India.

The Maratha Vikas Sangh had initiated criminal action under section 153 of the
Indian Penal Code against the author, the book's publisher, Vinod Hansraj Goyal, and an
officer of Oxford University Press for promoting social enmity. The Sangh was
angered by an isolated reference to Shivaji in the book first published about
three years ago.

A bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta and
Justice DK Jain said: "The intention to cause disorder or incite the people to violence
is the sine qua non (essential ingredient) of the offence under section 153A of IPC and
the prosecution has to prove prima facie the existence of mens rea (motive) on the
part of the accused."

Thus, the intention has to be judged by the language used in the book and the
circumstances in which it was written, the court said. "One cannot rely on strongly
worded and isolated passages for proving the charge nor indeed can one [connect
isolated sentences by] inferential reasoning," it said.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list