Delhi High Court Restrains Publication of Book on “the Ryan School Murder”

The Order had come in an injunction application filed by the St. Xavier’s Education Trust in Delhi. The Plaintiff sought ad-interim restraining order on publication of book titled ‘The Ryan School Murder‘ that was scheduled to be published on January 22, 2021.

Facts of the Case

The present application had been filed against the author of the book and journalist Leena Dhankar, publishers Juggernaut Books and Harper Collins, packager AAJ Enterprises and e-book sellers Amazon and Flipkart. In the Book, Leena Dhankar claimed to have succeeded in untangling the ‘messy threads’. The Book wrapped around the terrible death of a Class II student of a fictional character named Prince, whose body was found in a restroom at Ryan International School in Gurugram, Haryana around September, in the year of 2017. On which, the St. Xavier’s Education Trust claimed that the very title of the impugned book with the catch line ‘A seven-year-old is found dead in a bathroom. Who killed him?’ was objectionable and defamatory to the school managed by it. And that the book was designed for the purpose of getting cheap publicity in exchange for Ryan International’s reputation. Hence, the Plaintiff moved to the High Court of Delhi seeking restraining order against the Defendants.

Submissions before Court

Ld.Counsel Mr.Rajeev Virmani appeared for the Plaintiff. He submitted that due to the publication of the book, the schools managed by the Plaintiff would suffer great loss due to their reputation being lost. Moreover, people would perceive the school to be responsible for the child’s murder.

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The Plaintiff further relied on an order dated 08.01.2018 passed by Gurugram Court where, Ld. ASJ had ordered that the child in conflict with law shall be known by a fictitious name and the school shall be referred to as ‘Vidyalaya’. Thus, the Plaintiff urged to remove the words ‘Ryan school’ from the book.

Court’s Order

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri restrained the release of the book until further orders. The Court also restricted Amazon and Flipkart from receiving any more orders on the said book.

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The Court then cautioned the Plaintiff to ensure that the Book or its contents were not shared with any third party and the commercial rights of the Defendants were not compromised in any manner. The matter would be next heard on May 10, 2021.

Click here to read the judgment.


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