On 4 August, a district court in Delhi passed an order granting an injunction on the book, Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev, by the journalist Priyanka Pathak-Narain, published by Juggernaut Books. In the book, Pathak-Narain recounts her investigation into Ramdev’s rise from a yoga guru in Haridwar to founding and running the Patanjali group, India’s second-largest fast-moving consumer goods company. She writes about how the godman secured prime slots at devotional channels such as Aastha TV; his role in the anti-corruption movement of 2011; as well as the crimes that appear to surround him—including the mysterious deaths of his two associates, Rajeev Dixit and Swami Yogananda, and the disappearance of his guru, Shankar Dev.
Juggernaut’s response to the ex-parte order, released in a statement to the press on 11 August, is below.
On 2 August 2017, The Caravan published an excerpt from the book, titled, “Is Patanjali’s Desi Cow Ghee Even Cow Ghee?” The excerpt is available here.
On August 4, 2017 the court of the ACJ-CCJ-ARC (East), at the Karkardooma District Courts in Delhi restrained Juggernaut Books from publication and sale of Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev. We have received an intimation and copy of the order on August 10, 2017 and have complied with it immediately thereafter.
This order was passed ex-parte without hearing either the publisher, Juggernaut Books, or the author of the book, Priyanka Pathak-Narain, in order to avoid ‘the delay which would be caused during the process of serving the notice and hearing the defendants’.
Every person is entitled to approach a court of law with a grievance that must be decided in a fair manner. In this case, the allegation of defamation must certainly be heard in the courts and we welcome the chance to defend our book. Godman to Tycoon is a work of serious journalism. It is the product of over fifty interviews, many of them taped, with key players in Baba Ramdev’s life, including with Ramdev himself and close aides and family members. The book contains a detailed 25-page note on sources that lists the interviews, articles, police reports and RTI replies that are the basis of each chapter.
Prior to publication the manuscript was submitted for a legal read and vetted by an expert. The author's taped interviews were also submitted to and authenticated by a forensic laboratory.
The order of ex-parte interim injunction restrains Juggernaut Books, the author, and also the printer, Amazon and Flipkart.
As the matter is sub judice, we cannot comment on the merits of the case. However, we stand by our book, will defend the case and will move the court to vacate the injunction.
See the sources for the book HERE.