The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in a plea seeking to sue it over its documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two-part BBC documentary, ‘India: The Modi Question’, which is banned in India, claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when PM Modi was chief minister of the state.
The notice was issued to the BBC in a defamation suit filed by a Gujarat-based NGO, ‘Justice on Trial’. Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the NGO, said the documentary “defamed” India and the whole system, including the judiciary. He contended that the documentary also makes insinuations against the prime minister.
It was argued on behalf of the plaintiff that the documentary makes defamatory imputation and cast a slur on the reputation of the country.
Justice Sachin Datta issued the notice and listed the case for further consideration in September. Justice Datta said, “It is contended that the said documentary makes defamatory imputations and caste slurs on the reputation of the country and the judiciary, and against the Prime Minister of India. Issue notice to the respondents through all permissible modes” and listed it for further hearing on September 15.
In January, the BJP government banned the BBC documentary on PM Modi. It had directed social media platforms Twitter and YouTube to block links to the documentary.