PIL in Bombay High Court Filed For Removal Of Ban on Book on Gandhi's Assassination
Bombay High Court

A PIL has been filed with the Bombay High Court that is seeking the revocation of a ban that was placed on the import of a book published in Portugal nearly five decades ago that alleged a conspiracy behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Filed by Pankaj Phadnis a researcher and trustee of a right wing group Abhinav Bharat, on January 5, the petition asks the court to quash a notification dated December 29, 1979, which was issued by the then Union government for banning the import of the book ‘Who Killed Gandhi’.

The book was authored by Portugal-based writer Lourenco De Sadvandor, and published in 1963.

SC Petition To Reopen Gandhi’s Assassination Case

The government had banning the import of the book, stating that it was “poorly researched” and “inflammatory”, according to the PIL.

The petitioner however has claimed that the ban was untenable, arbitrary, and impeaching upon the fundamental right of speech and thought.

Phadnis had approached the Supreme Court last year to direct the government to re-investigate Gandhi’s assassination. During the process of appointing a amicus curie (lawyer to assist the court in the matter), the top court enquired if the case could be re-investigated after such a long lapse of time.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the petition on January 12 this year.

Book Necessary For Reinvestigation of Gandhi’s Assassination

In his petition to the Bombay HC, Phadnis,  has sought for the ban on the import of the book to be set aside as it would  help throw some light on the issue.

According to the petition, the reinvestigation of Gandhi’s murder is of “greatest significance to the Indian public”, and that the book may be “the most important resource necessary to conduct the petition filed in the Supreme Court.”

The PIL is expected to be presented before a division bench of the high court later this week.


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