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BBC documentary on PM Modi: Delhi HC judge Justice Anup Bhambhani recuses himself from hearing defamation case

Delhi High Court judge Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani has recused himself from hearing a Rs 10,000 crore defamation case filed against British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for its two-part documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The matter was listed for hearing on May 17 before the single-judge Bench of Justice Bhambhani.

As soon the case was called, Justice Bhambhani said that the matter would be listed before another judge, subject to the orders of the judge in-charge of the Original Side of the High Court.

The defamation suit was filed by a Gujarat-based non-profit organisation named Justice on Trial seeking damages of Rs 10,000 crore from BBC.

The petitioner contended that BBC’s two-part documentary titled India: The Modi Question cast a slur on the reputation of India, its judiciary as well as the Prime Minister.

Justice on Trial had sought permission from the High Court to file the defamation suit as an indigent person.

Order XXXIII of the Code of Civil Procedure deals with filing of suits by indigent persons. It says that a suit can be instituted by an indigent person if he does not have sufficient means to pay the fee prescribed by law for the plaint in such a suit.

On May 22, 2023, the High Court had issued notices on the Indigent Person Application (IPA).

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