Union law minister, M Veerappa Moily, on Tuesday said the Centre would ban the book, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India, calling its contents “baseless, sensational and heresy and denigrating a national leader”.
He was speaking to media persons after addressing a party meeting at Congress Bhavan here. “The Union government will plan out how to prohibit the book,” he said. The book by Joseph Lelyveld, claims that Mahatma Gandhi, a renowned advocate of celibacy, truth and non-violence, was also a bisexual and a racist. It claims Gandhi had an affair with German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder, Hermann Kallenbach, for whom he supposedly left his wife Kasturba in 1908.
The book also claims the Mahatma had a racist attitude towards Africans.
In reply to another question, Moily said the opposition owes an explanation to parliament for stalling business on some pretext or the other, referring to the WikiLeaks episode.
He said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) never suppressed anything. Before the 2G scam case came to the Supreme Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had started inquiring into it. A probe into the Commonwealth Games (CWG) was initiated by the central government itself.
Moily also attended a national workshop on judicial reforms organised by the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University’s New Law College. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the event, he said unless specific standards and accountability are set for judges, they cannot claim immunity.
He said, “We have introduced a bill called the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, in parliament. It has been done in consultation with every stakeholder.”
“India is the largest democracy in the world and our judicial system is large. Hence there has to be an aspect of accountability. There is consensus on this issue,” he said.
He commented on the opposition by lawyers to the proposed Legal Practitioners (Regulation and Maintenance of Standards in Profession, Protecting the Interest of Clients and Promoting the Rule of Law) Act, 2010. Moily said, “According to a survey by the National Judicial Academy, only 5% citizens seeking justice come to the judicial system.”
“Justice has to be served to 100% of the citizens and we are setting standards for judges, so why not for advocates? Moreover, it is only a draft. We will consult all stakeholders and, depending upon the suggestions, modify the contents,” he said.