Delhi HC refuses to stay launch of book ‘Will Power’


The Delhi High Court has refused to stay the launch of a book titled “Will Power,” authored by Sjoerd Marijne, former coach of the Indian women’s hockey team.
The book is scheduled to be released on September 21, 2022. The plaintiff, Gurjit Kaur, a hockey player, stated that in the book, the author Sjoerd Marijne has divulged certain confidential information that was shared by the plaintiff with him in confidence, while he was the coach of the Indian women’s hockey team. The said confidential information relates to a medical condition that the plaintiff is stated to have been suffering from.
Counsel for the plaintiff contended that the divulging of such confidential information amounts to a violation of the Code of Conduct of Hockey India, which has been signed by the author and former coach.
The counsel appearing on behalf of HarperCollins Publisher India Pvt Ltd submitted that there is nothing confidential about the said medical condition of the plaintiff as it is known to all the other team members as well. The publisher’s lawyer also contended that the plaintiff, as a public figure or sports personality, does not have the right to privacy in this matter.
The lawyer for the publisher also submitted that the medical conditions of athletes have always been a subject matter of debate and, therefore, the plaintiff does not have any right to privacy. The bench of Justice Amit Bansal, in an order passed on September 15, 2022, stated, “I am not inclined to pass an ad interim order staying the launch of the book without giving the defendants (Author and Publisher) an opportunity to place their stand on affidavit.” If the plaintiff has been living with this medical condition for many years, the medical condition cannot remain confidential. According to the manuscript of the book, the plaintiff informed all other teammates of her medical condition.