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Delhi HC judge withdraws notice to Pranab, recuses herself from case involving his book

Delhi HC judge withdraws notice to Pranab, recuses herself from case involving his book
New Delhi: A Delhi High Court judge withdrew her order to seek response from former president Pranab Mukherjee on a plea seeking deletion of some portions of his 2016 book -'Turbulent Years 1980-1996 - for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments. She also recused herself from hearing the case.
Justice Pratibha M Singh who issued notice to Mukherjee earlier in the day, passed the order to withdraw notice post lunch. Recusing herself from hearing the issue, she said, "Subject to the orders of the acting chief justice, Gita Mittal, list this matter before another bench." The matter will now be heard on April 9.
Vishnu Shankar Jain, counsel for the plaintiff, said that he was called by the judge to her chamber at around 3.15 pm and informed that she is recusing herself from the matter but did not assign any reason for it.
The appeal in the High Court was filed against the lower court's order of November 30, 2016 rejecting the plea seeking deletion of certain contents from the book 'Turbulent Years 1980-1996.
The suit in the trial court was filed by a social worker — U C Pandey — and a group of lawyers objecting to certain references in the book regarding the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992. They had contended that it allegedly hurt the sentiments of the Hindus.
The counsel appearing for the plaintiffs, argued that the lower court wrongly dismissed the suit on the ground that there was no cause of action.
He contended before the high court that there was cause of action when the book was published and also after September 5, 2016, when the two-month notice issued by the plaintiffs for deletion of portions of the book had expired.
The plaintiffs' advocates had claimed before the trial court that a civil suit can be filed against the President during his tenure in respect of any act done by him in his "personal capacity."
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