K.L.N.V. Veeranjaneyulu vs Union of India

K.L.N.V. Veeranjaneyulu case
In the Supreme Court of India    
Case No.
Writ Petition (Civil) no. 946/2017
Appellant 
K.L.N.V. Veeranjaneyulu 
Respondent 
Union of India 
Date of the Judgment 
13th Oct, 2017 
Bench 
Former Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud

Background and Facts

The book titled, Samajika Smugglerlu: Kommatullu, or “Social Smugglers: Kommatis.” argued that ” the “private-sector economy is a modern form of “Guptadhana” had, since mid September, generated angst and aggression from the members of the Arya Vysya community in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh began holding protests against the work of the academic and writer Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd. The community, which is also referred to as Kommatis, and is understood to be an upper-caste Vaishya group, had taken grave offence to the contents of a short Telugu-language book, Samajika Smugglerlu: Kommatullu, or “Social Smugglers: Kommatis.” The petitioner, who is also a member of Arya Vysya Officials Professionals Association, alleged that the writer had made “baseless” allegations against certain castes in his book and tried to divide the society on caste lines.

1. The petitioner, who is also a member of Arya Vysya Officials Professionals Association, alleged that the writer had made “baseless” allegations against certain castes in his book and tried to divide the society on caste lines. The petition claimed that “the book hurt the feelings of the Arya Vysya Community” and “was written without evidence and historical facts.”

2. Veeranjaneyulu pointed out that the a criminal case had also been registered against him in Andhra Pradesh for hurting sentiments of people belonging to certain casters and urged the curt to ban the work.

3. The Telugu Desam Party had come out against the author and demanded action against him. The state BJP too condemned teh book but said it was not in favour of a ban and also rejected calls for violence against the author.

4. Preserving the Article 19(1)a, the Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, alongwith  Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dr.DY Chandrachud, dismissed a petition in this case,  which asked for a ban on the book ‘Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu’  written by Professor Kancha Ilaiah. Upholding the Author’s fundamental right to free speech, the Court held,  “Any request for banning a book of the present nature has to be strictly scrutinized because every author or writer has a fundamental right to speak out ideas freely and express thoughts adequately. Curtailment of an individual writer/author’s right to freedom of speech and expression should never be lightly viewed”.

Issues Raised

Whether a writ of Mandamus should be granted or not?

Decision

The Supreme Court of India on Friday dismissed a petition seeking ban of the book ‘Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu’ written by Professor Kancha Ilaiah and further to ban chapter 9 of a book titled ‘Post-Hindu India’ and chapter 9 of ‘Hindutv-Mukt Bharat’.

Significance and Analysis of the Verdict 

The Supreme Court while upholding the author’s freedom of speech and expression the bench held rightly said that any request for banning a book of the present nature has to be strictly scrutinized because every author or writer has a fundamental right to speak out ideas freely and express thoughts adequately. Curtailment of an individual writer/author’s right to freedom of speech and expression should never be lightly viewed.

Edited by Shuvneek Hayer
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

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I am Aparajita Balaji, pursuing BBA-LLB(H) from Vivekananda Institute Of Professional Studies, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. The dynamics of Law has always attracted me, especially the sphere of Criminal Litigation, Corporate Law as well as the Intellectual Property Rights are my areas of interest. I am also passionate about writing. I find a unique level of peace and solace by giving shape to my thoughts, expressed in the form of poems and short-stories. Apart from this, I like watching movies, listening to music and dancing. I have always had a thing for speaking and improving my communication skills therefore, I have participated in a number of debate competitions, moot competitions and have also got few paper published online. In addition to this, I believe in team work. My aim is to work in stimulating environment where I can enhance my knowledge, skill and apply the same in the legal field.