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Bengaluru court clears deck for re-release of Manna Dey book

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A Bengaluru lower court has cleared the deck for the re-release of a book on legendary singer Manna Dey, ending a legal battle lasting six years.

The PRL City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru, in a recent order dismissed the injunction application of Dey’s daughter Shumita Deb, and as a result, the book ‘Tarader Sesh Chithi’ is set for re-release from Wednesday.

Authored by journalist Gautam Bhattacharya, the book was mired in controversy in February 2017, 11 months after its launch, when Shumita and her husband Gnan Ranjan Deb brought a defamation lawsuit before the City Civil Court, claiming some contents in it as ”false, baseless and maligning”.

”Whether the contents of the article dated 28.10.2013 and the Chapter seven of the book ‘Tarader Sesh Chithi’ are false and defamatory is a matter of trial. At this juncture, restraining printing, publication and selling of the book would not serve any purpose as the said articles have been read by innumerable people,” the court had said.

Narrating his last meeting with the maestro at Bengaluru, Bhattacharya had written about the sense of confinement in old age and the constraints of living in an apartment of a metropolis had brought to him.

Dey’s daughter had objected particularly by the reference to Emperor Shah Jahan in his last years at the Agra Fort, while describing the ”depressing state of melancholy” the author claimed he had witnessed.

Following the death of the singer in October 2013, the journalist had first published the article on October 28 in ‘Ananda Bazar Patrika’.

“While the case is still in the custody of the Bengaluru High Court and will be debated there, the injunction on the book is lifted and will be made available to book readers from today itself and also at the Kolkata Book Fair (from January 31),” Bhattacharya told PTI on Wednesday.

“It has been a very long wait. But, I am so happy that the iconic Manna Dey’s unique story and his achievements can be re-read by the lovers of music, along with the other giants discussed in the book,” he added.

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