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Home > News > PTI

Laine may apologise over Shivaji issue

April 16, 2004 17:19 IST

The Oxford Printing Press on Friday told the Bombay high court that US-based author James Laine was ready to apologise for making derogatory references to Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji in his book Shivaji : Hindu king in Islamic India.

It also said that it was ready to withdraw the objectionable portion from the publication.

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Senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani and Pranav Badheka, appearing for the Oxford Printing Press, submitted a draft of their affidavit to Justice S Radhakrishna and Justice R S Mohite, who adjourned the matter to April 27 as the Maharashtra government sought time to consider it.

The state's counsel, Shekhar Naphade, said he would consult the chief secretary after going through the draft and explore the possibility of arriving at a solution.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the Oxford Printing Press and its India representative Mazhar Khan, urging for a direction to the Pune police to quash the first information report registered against them.

The court had earlier suggested Laine to consider withdrawing the distorted remarks about Shivaji. It had also inquired whether Laine would state that he had no doubts that Shahji was Shivaji's father.

A group of members belonging to Sambhaji Brigade had on January 5 stormed into the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune and destroyed rare manuscripts and artefacts.

Although Laine had apologised, the mob ransacked the institute as he had drawn material for the book from its library.

Jethmalani argued that a scholarly book in history could not attract penal provisions for promoting enmity between two groups. He said the book did not intend to pit one community against the other.

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