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Delhi High Court Summons BBC on a defamation case

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The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was called by the Delhi High Court on Monday in a defamation case alleging that the BBC’s two-part documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” damaged the reputation of India, its judiciary, and the Prime Minister personally.

The summons was issued by Justice Sachin Datta, who also scheduled the case for further review in September.

“It is alleged that the aforementioned documentary contains defamatory accusations and caste slurs against the Prime Minister of India as well as against the reputation of the nation and judiciary. Send notice to the respondents via all legal channels, the sole judge commanded.

In an appearance on behalf of the group, senior attorney Harish Salve claimed that the documentary had disparaged India and its whole system, including the courts.

A Delhi district court had already summoned the BBC in connection with a defamation lawsuit brought by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Binay Kumar Singh about the documentary.

Singh had filed a petition with the court claiming that even though the documentary had been outlawed in India, it was still accessible on Internet Archive and had links to watch it on its Wikipedia page.

In order to prevent the BBC, Wikimedia, and Internet Archive from posting the documentary or any other content critical of the RSS and VHP, Singh has requested a stay order against them.

A Gujarat-based nonprofit organisation called Justice on Trial filed the slander lawsuit.

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