New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday issued fresh notice to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on a suit filed by a Gujarat-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Justice on Trial, claiming that the documentary titled ‘India: The Modi Question’, “cast a slur” on the country’s reputation and that of the judiciary and the Prime Minister.
Justice Sachin Datta also issued fresh notice to BBC (India) on the plea.
The counsel for the petitioner NGO informed the high court that notices were issued to BBC — UK and India — earlier but they could not be served.
On Advocate Siddharth Sharma for NGO seeking more time to serve the notices to the defendants, Justice Datta said: “Issue fresh notice to the defendants through all permissible modes.”
The court then listed the matter for next hearing on December 15.
The high court in May had issued notice to the BBC on the plea by the NGO seeking to file the suit as an ‘indigent person’.
The NGO had contended that the two-volume documentary/publication contains content which “casts a slur” on the reputation of the country and also makes false and defamatory imputations and insinuations against the Prime Minister of India, the Indian Judiciary and the Indian criminal justice system.
The high court had sought BBC’s response on it.
The order copy read: “The plaintiff (NGO), which is stated to be a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and also registered as a Public trust under the provisions of the Bombay Public Trust, 1950, has filed the present suit for damages, invoking Order XXXIII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, seeking permission to file as an indigent person.
“It is averred that the aforesaid conduct of the respondents is actionable and has made them liable to damages, as claimed in the suit.”
Justice Datta had then issued notice to the respondents.
Justice Datta had said: “It is contended that the said documentary makes defamatory imputation and caste slur on reputation of the Country and Judiciary and against the Prime Minister of India. Issue notice to the respondents through all permissible modes.”
Appearing for the NGO, senior advocate Harish Salve had said that the documentary has defamed India and the whole system including the judiciary. – IANS