Delhi High Court issues notice in BBC defamation case over PM documentary
The Delhi High Court has issued notice in a defamation case related to the screening of the documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots India: The Modi Question by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The notice was issued in a petition filed by a Gujarat-based NGO which said the documentary portrayed the RSS, BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a defamatory and misleading manner.
The documentary, which was aired by the BBC early this year, examined the role of various individuals and organizations during the communal violence that shook Gujarat in 2002. It alleged that several politicians, including the petitioner, played a divisive role and incited violence during the riots. The documentary also claimed that the state government at the time turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed against religious minorities.
The petitioner contended that the documentary had damaged his reputation and was defamatory in nature. He argued that the content presented by the BBC was biased and aimed at tarnishing his image without providing a fair opportunity for him to present his side of the story. The petitioner sought damages and requested the court to direct the BBC to issue a public apology and withdraw the documentary.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the Delhi High Court has issued notice to the representatives from the BBC to appear before it and respond to the allegations of defamation. The court’s decision reflects its commitment to upholding the principles of fairness and ensuring that all parties involved have an opportunity to present their perspectives.
This case highlights the delicate balance between freedom of expression and protection against defamation. While the media plays a crucial role in bringing forth important issues and holding those in power accountable, it is also essential to ensure that individuals are not wrongly defamed or subjected to unfair portrayal.
The notice issued by the Delhi High Court to the BBC indicates that the court is taking the matter seriously and will examine the allegations of defamation made by the petitioner. It also sends a message that responsible journalism should be based on thorough research, unbiased reporting, and a fair representation of all viewpoints.