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Friday, September 22, 2023

PM Modi Documentary: HC Summons BBC in Gujarat NGOs Defamation Suit

Justice Sachin Datta also served notice to BBC (India) in addition to BBC (UK)

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INDIA: The most controversial documentary on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telecasted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), charged them with legal trouble. 

In response to a lawsuit brought by a Gujarat-based NGO, the Delhi High Court on Monday sent a notice to the British Broadcasting Corporation. The NGO claims that the documentary has damaged Prime Minister Modi’s notoriety and the reputation of the nation and the judiciary.

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This prompted the Delhi HC to summon the news network. Thus, based upon an NGO’s plea, the court sought a damage repayment of Rs 10,000 crore from the foreign broadcasting network. 

The petitioner claimed that there is a high “loss of reputation and goodwill caused to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, the Government of India, the Government of the State of Gujarat as it was during the period of the Gujarat Riots, and also the people of India.”

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Furthermore, based on the argument put forth by Gujarat-based NGO Justice On Trial, Justice Sachin Datta also served notice to BBC (India) in addition to BBC (UK). As per the plea, BBC (UK) released the news documentary, “India: The Modi Question,” which comprised two episodes. 

The full episode was broadcasted in January 2023. The two-part documentary showcased the Gujarat riots in which over 1,000 people died in 2002 when Narendra Modi was serving as the Chief Minister. The reason BBC (India) has been summoned is because of its local operations office.

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Senior attorney Harish Salve spoke on behalf of the NGO, claiming that the documentary defamed the nation’s system, the Constitutional network, as well as the judicial system.

The plea further says, “The defamatory documentary portrays reports to be authentic findings of the British government. The documentary believes these reports should be believed in preference to the investigation reports filed before the Supreme Court and judgements of the Indian Supreme Court. This is an attempt to defame India.” 

Now, a single-bench court headed by Justice Sachin Datta listed the case for further consideration on September 25. 

Thus, the justice said, “It is contended that the aforementioned documentary makes defamatory imputations and cast a slur on the reputation of the country and judiciary, as well as upon India’s Prime Minister. Send notice to respondents via all legal channels.”

Also Read: Gujarat House Passes Resolution against ‘BBC Documentary’, Seeks Strict Action for Tampering PM Modi’s Image


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