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Karnataka High Court Warns Publishers of Law Books Over Printing Errors

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The Karnataka High Court issued a stern warning to publishers of law books, cautioning them to exercise diligence while printing statutes to avoid potential contempt of court charges in case of errors. The order was delivered on March 27 by a Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice N V Anjaria.

The court’s directive stemmed from a case where the state counsel relied on a notification containing a printing error to oppose an appellant’s challenge to a 2023 High Court order. The appellant had been directed to seek resolution of his land grant-related grievance from the jurisdictional assistant commissioner. The state counsel argued that the petitioner should adhere to the assistant commissioner’s office and pay for the land grant under revised rates specified in a notification published by a private firm.

However, the appellant’s counsel countered, highlighting that the amendment proposed by the state counsel was not a substitution, contrary to the publication’s claim.

The High Court, acknowledging the potential ramifications of relying on erroneous publications, emphasized the need for publishers to exercise caution. It warned of potential legal consequences, including contempt of court charges and blacklisting from public tenders for book supply, for publishers failing to ensure accuracy.

The court ruled against sending the appellant to the assistant commissioner, as only the issue of payment for the land grant remained pending, with the grant order already affirmed by the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal. Consequently, the court directed the State to formalize the land grant and instructed charges to be paid under the previous land rules.

The High Court’s stance underscores the importance of accuracy in legal publications to safeguard citizens’ interests and uphold the integrity of the legal system.

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