The Supreme Court will have the next hearing on the petition filed against S Hareesh‘s Malayalam novel Meesa on 7th August. The petitioner took objection to a dialogue between two characters in the novel, which allegedly insulted women who went to the temple. The petitioner sought, among other things, direction to seize all copies of a weekly magazine dated July 11, 2018 – in which the contentious part of the novel was published – and also to stop further publication of the novel
The Supreme Court on Thursday dissuaded the idea of banning books even as the Central and State governments opposed a petition. The Court meanwhile directed the weekly magazine to produce a translated copy of the first three chapters of the novel within five days and reserved orders on the petition.
The bench has observed that banning books directly impacts the flow of ideas, unless Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) comes into play. The IPC Section relates to works that deems to be obscene, lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest.