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Damages suit against facebook (1)
 

Damages suit against facebook (1)

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A defamation case filed in India court against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Indian Operations and the court summoned them on September 3 2012. Below is the link and share valuable comment!!!

A defamation case filed in India court against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Indian Operations and the court summoned them on September 3 2012. Below is the link and share valuable comment!!!
http://pulse2.com/2012/08/29/pradeep-manukonda-files-defamation-lawsuit/
http://www.scribd.com/collections/3783629/mark-zuckerberg-pradeep-kumar-manukonda
Mark zuckerberg obtain a restraining order against Pradeep Manukonda stating him as a stalker in 2011 Now Pradeep Manukonda filed a defamation case against him in Indian court

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  • A defamation case filed in India court against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Indian Operations and the court summoned them on September 3 2012. Below is the link and share valuable comment!!!
    http://pulse2.com/2012/08/29/pradeep-manukonda-files-defamation-lawsuit/
    http://www.scribd.com/collections/3783629/mark-zuckerberg-pradeep-kumar-manukonda
    Mark zuckerberg obtain a restraining order against Pradeep Manukonda stating him as a stalker in 2011 Now Pradeep Manukonda filed a defamation case against him in Indian court

    Latest News ! Came to know that Court order them to submit their legal Counter papers by September 10 2012 based on today's (3 Sep) court proceeding!
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    Damages suit against facebook (1) Damages suit against facebook (1) Document Transcript

    • IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT SESSIONS JUDGE RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR HYDERABAD INDIA 500074 O.S.No. 122 /12 ,700/12Between:Mr. Pradeep Kumar ManukondaS/o Varahala Babu ManukondaAged 32 years, Occ: Network security analystR/o Flat No.6 Sai Charan Aprtmnts.Behind Bank of India,Safilguda Sec-bad - 500056. ..Plaintiff AND1) Mr MARK ZUCKERBERGS/o Edward Zuckerberg, aged about 27 years,Occ: CEO of Facebook,Permanent R/o 1601 S California Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94304United States of AmericaHyderabad address of Facebook,Mr.Mark Zuckerberg ,M/s Facebook , B 14, Opus Towers,Mind space Cyber Towers,Hyderabad, India – 500081.2)M/s Facebook rep.byMs. Karthiga Reddy - CMD Director Online Indian Operations,B 14, Opus Towers, Mind spaceCyber Towers, Hyderabad, India - 500081 …Defendants SUIT FOR DAMAGES OF USD 1,621,913PLAINT FILED UNDER SECTION 26 AND UNDER ORDER 7 RULE 1 & 2 OF CPCDescription of the Plaintiff:The plaintiff is Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda S/o Varahala BabuManukonda Aged 32 years, Occ:IT consultant R/o Flat No.6 Sai CharanApartments, Behind Bank of India, Safilguda Sec-bad – 500056. The
    • address of the Plaintiff for the purpose of service of all summons, notices ,processes and orders is that their counsel Mr. S.Siva Shanker, Moshe Marpu,B.Vijaya Kumar, M.N.Sreelatha-Advocates, 407/6-1-9 & 10, Padmaraonagar, Secunderabad-500 025.Description of the Defendants:The Defendant particulars have been shown in the above cause titles. Forthe service of summons, the address of the Defendants is the same asmentioned in the cause title.1) It is submitted that Plaintiff went to USA to work in New York in 2010 inEMC Company and after working for some time, Plaintiff shifted toCalifornia and worked in Pillar Data System, San Jose and subsequently D1sent a mail that Facebook require a Data Centre Security Analyst andhaving solicited the services of Plaintiff, Plaintiff approached D1 inCalifornia USA in the first week of December 2010 and applied for DataCenter Operation (as a Security Analyst) and Plaintiff had an interview withthe Project Director Mr. Chris. When the project Director questionedPlaintiff with regard to the loopholes of the Face-book and Plaintiffinformed that there are many loopholes and submitted as follows:2) It is further submitted that Plaintiff developed a Pet Project under thename IDEAS (Inception and Design e-commerce Social networking underthe Website “www.myfacebooksocialnetwork.com) and informed about thesame and the Project of Plaintiff reveals the fake users count and multipleusers count and Plaintiff revealed that Facebook is having fake user countand multiple user count and also there is no deletion option in the face bookand even minors are opening the Facebook etc. and immediately the ProjectManager got puzzled and informed the D1 i.e. Mark Zuckerberg.3) It is further submitted that suddenly some official from the Facebookcame to the house of Plaintiff in the first week January 2011 andthreatened Plaintiff with dire consequences if Plaintiff is not agreed totheir terms and
    • conditions and should not develop competition to Facebook, otherwise theybrand Plaintiff as Hacker and Stalker and since Plaintiff is fromHyderabad and studied in Osmania University and having family with twochildren, Plaintiff agreed under coercion and made forced handwritten lettersand also signed Non Disclosure Agreement under threat, which containsthat Plaintiff should not come up with his project work and they did not evengive a single minute to read the documents and forced Plaintiff to sign nondisclosure agreement and the contents of the Non-Disclosure Agreementsare not known to Plaintiff and no consideration or any amount was paid toPlaintiff assuming without admitting non discloser agreement contains someconsideration and purely under coercion and fear of life as the unknownpersons were bearing & flashing the guns, Plaintiff signed those papers.After signing those papers D1 went to superior court in California at countyof Santa Clara and obtained a temporary restrained order (TRO) on 1-2-2011against Plaintiff that Plaintiff should not visit their office and they alsofabricated declaration from the Logistic Managers Mr. Todd Sheets and alsofake Gmail’s which Plaintiff never generated nor sent by Plaintiff’s Gmailaccount. By filing some more fake documents and declarations, D1 obtainedpermanent Restrain Order against Plaintiff on 15-2-2011 vide Case No. 111CH003483 restraining Plaintiff by 300 meters that he should not visit theFace book nor the office etc.. and subsequently the entire US press has cometo know that D1 i.e. Mark Zuckerberg has a obtained restraint order andclaimed that Plaintiff as a stalker and hacker and harassing Mark Zuckerbergand his sister and girlfriend and it is only fictitious claim of D1 that Plaintiffhas approached D1 and harassing D1 and when Plaintiff has gone to US forwork and being from software side, he expressed his opinion about theloopholes of Facebook and fearing that Plaintiff might start a rival companywith better options than Facebook is possessing, they hatched a plan andforced Plaintiff not to develop a rival company and hence they planned toget a Court order and accordingly they mislead the Superior Court, CivilDivision, 191 N.First St. San Jose, CA95113 and obtained the permanentRestraint Order till 2014 that Plaintiff should not visit their office by 300meters and should not even approach the website by 300 meters and theorder was obtained without any application of mind and when the person
    • who has gone to USA for better prospects and the forced letters reveals thatPlaintiff has stooped to such low level of begging for his mother’s treatmentetc. are all false and it can palpably seen and all the materials placed beforethe US court is made up of fiction and imagination and D1 forgot thatPlaintiff is a Software Professional and he is having a job and when theysolicited for his service, he went to Face Book and informed about theloopholes and simply knowing the loopholes, D1 jumped to the conclusionthat Plaintiff might be a potential competitor and as D1 is really having highvolume of fake user count and if it is established in the public, it will effectD1’s brand name and also effect D1’s company in the stock market andhence put Plaintiff into inconvenience and when the US press wanted toknow from Plaintiff side version, he immediately informed the press that hewill inform only to the judge of the concerned Court and he cannot revealanything to the press just to avoid direct conflict with D1 and the First one’sofficials came to the house of Plaintiff and threatened that he should go backto the India otherwise his life will be in danger and Plaintiff has come toknow that D1 obtained a ex-parte orders based on the documents executedunder coercion.4) It is further submitted that he returned to India on 5th March 2011 in underfear of his life and family and Plaintiff obtained a copy right in the month ofMay 2011 about his Pet Project “IDEAS” by engaging an Attorney in USAand the copy right was applied in California and accordingly Registrar ofCopy Rights, CA, USA has accorded sanction and patented the project of“IDEAS” of Plaintiff on 2-5-2011 vide Regn No. TXU001730778 andPlaintiff also applied for the copy rights to the Indian Government vide No.9268/2011 dated 5-8-2011 and is awaiting for registration as it takes 18months in India to get it registered and immediately D1 has come to knowand D1 started pressurizing Plaintiff and portrait as AL-QAIDA worker inFace book by exhibiting Plaintiff’s photo and wrote that his employers areAl Qaida, he is religious is Islam, etc. the picture of Plaintiff in the Facebookis very foul and nasty and disgusting and also stalker in the face book andalso Plaintiff started receiving the phone calls from unknown personssuspected to have been from D1’s side after registration of the Copy rightsof ‘IDEAS”.
    • 5) It is further submitted that on 9-07-2011 when Plaintiff was going toKarimnagar, some unknown four muscleman came at Shamirpet andattacked Plaintiff and besides causing physical harm and they took away thelaptop and cell phone and wanted to cause more harm and Plaintiff couldescape the attack with the help of RTC bus passengers and immediatelyalerted the Shamirpet police and lodge a complaint vide FIR No. 180/2011dated 9-07-2011 and the case is under investigation and Plaintiff suspectsthat the defendants must have been having a role in the attack.6) It is further submitted that another attack has taken place on 06-08-2011in Hyderabad and Plaintiff was stabbed from back side and he was admittedin the Apollo hospital at Jubilee hills, Hyderabad ,AP ,India, and later onJubilee Hills police were informed and they booked a FIR vide 366/2011 andthe case is under investigation and all these personal attacks were directlysuspected to have been fuelled by D1 & D2 as Plaintiff is not having anyenemies or there was no motive for other persons to attack Plaintiff and theonly suspicion is on D1&D2.7) It is further submitted that because of branding Plaintiff as Stalker and Al-Qaida Worker in the Web world, Plaintiff is viewed as suspicious characterand his whole reputation is at stake. It is well said that “A man’s reputationis his property and is more valuable than any other tangible asset.Every man has the right to have his reputation preserved. It isacknowledged as an inherent personal right of every person. It is a jusin rem, a right good against all the people in the world. The degree ofsuffering caused by loss of reputation far exceeds that caused by loss ofany material wealth. The Law of Defamation protects reputation.Defamation is the publication of a statement which reflects on a person’sreputation and tends to lower him in the estimation of right-thinkingmembers of society generally or tends to make them shun or avoid him.Further D1 is having a Branch in India to do Indian Operations ofFacebook and the same is located in Hyderabad at Cyber Towers, MindSpace, Hi-tech City, Madhapur, RR District and Facebook of HyderabadBranch, with the
    • Directions of D1, has defamed Plaintiff by showing Plaintiff as Stalker andHacker and under those circumstances, Plaintiff filed the suit before theHon’ble District Judge, RR District Court vide OS No. 122/12 to declarethat Plaintiff is not a Stalker & Hacker.8) It is further submitted that because of the intervention of Hon’bleDistrict Judge, RR District Court orders vide I.A.No.446 of 2012 inO.S.No.122 of 2012, the profile of Plaintiff were deactivated but onlypartially for some time as it had again surfaced on the web in the first weekof June 2012. By allowing this to happen D1 & D2 has played mischief andthe Plaintiff’s new profile was created with the same profile details andphotograph but with a different name and this time identifying Plaintiff asDrake Smith. On a deeper probe into the details, Plaintiff came to know thatalready this profile was created May 2011 and this was not known toPlaintiff and only it came to surface in the month of June 2012 after passingthe restraint order in IA No. 446/12 in OS No. 122/12.9) It is further submitted that Plaintiff’s case is being heard in court ofHon’ble Principle District Judge, Ranga Reddy District Court at Hyderabadand proceedings are on-going but in spite of this, D1 and D2 had createdanother third profile, and this time stated Plaintiff as Second in Commandfor Jaish-e-Muhammad and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen outlaworganizations!!! This re-occurrence of Plaintiff’s profiles in D1’s websiteshows D1 is having utter disrespect to the court orders and it gives the strongimpression that D1 is not serious about Indian Judiciary and its principles ofrule of law and Indian judiciary’s effectiveness.10) It is further submitted that Plaintiff strongly believes and suspect thatthere is every possibility that D1 &D2 have fabricated or manipulatedFacebook server records, which register the new and existing profiles andD1 may innocently claim that somebody had created such profiles falsely asD1 have the administrative privileges to D1’s servers and there is lesspossibility that an outsider will be able to do the profile Management andtherefore D1 & D2 are directly responsible for creation of these falseprofiles of Plaintiff and spoiled his career, reputation, and his employmentopportunities and also loss to his website.
    • 11) It is further submitted that D1&D2 are hatching a conspiracy againstPlaintiff to malign Plaintiff as he believes the main reason for attacks on hisperson and also on his name online and offline is that D1 7D2 are havingsome personal differences with Plaintiff as Plaintiff may become rival to theFacebook and would compete D1&D2.12) It is further submitted that when Plaintiff launched his website underthe domain registration name www.myFacebooksocialnetwork.com onApril 2011, his website was rated and ranked 10760471 out of 22 crorewebsites worldwide. The initial value of website was assessed withestimated value of $234 (Rs 12968/-). This rating was initially given myAlexa, Internet Company (Amazon). But due to D1’s constant attacks onhis person, and online and offline, Plaintiff was not able to have his websiterunning active. If Plaintiff had continued to run the website till this day, hecould have competed with the face book and could have fetched substantialamounts of dollars, but things turned ugly when Plaintiff was assaulted twicein the month of July and August 2011. Due to this sudden attacks Plaintiffhave to stop his website operation, and he lost his laptop which containedvaluable source code of his Project work, for which Plaintiff got acopyright issued on his name from the California state of USA.13) It is further submitted that Plaintiff belong to the InformationTechnology arena and he is well aware of the importance of socialnetworking site like Facebook. When he tried to apply for job position in thereputed IT companies, the hiring authority are asking Plaintiff about profilesgenerated in Facebook and when Plaintiff try to explain the whole thingabout Facebook, the hiring companies are hesitating in hiring Plaintiffbecause its company policies to check the credentials of the employee. Ifsuch things are posted about Plaintiff in the Facebook, Plaintiff would not beable to convince the employers and keep his reputation clean. It is well saidthat reputation takes a long time to build; but it takes no time to break. Thereis saying “if D1 tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, It willbe believed to be true fact!" Because of D1’s frequent lies in the face bookthat Plaintiff is a hacker and stalker and belongs to Al –Qaida, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Harkat- ul- Mujahedeen man etc.. it would be difficult toconvince the potential employers about Plaintiff’s credentials.
    • 14) It is further submitted that when Plaintiff decided to associate withsome companies who are interested in Plaintiff’s project work, thedefamatory information from the Facebook about Plaintiff are causingmassive damage to his reputation and character as well as to his projectwork. Plaintiff is not getting good offers by companies from USA andSingapore or even in India as the companies are checking Plaintiff’s profileand they are mislead by Facebook profile which is stated Plaintiff as Al –Qaida, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Harkat- ul- Mujahedeen man. This typeof postings were seen by the IT employers and Security Agencies, the imagePlaintiff was completely spoiled and Plaintiff lost his job, not getting job inIndia and abroad and also not able to do the website business and because ofD1’s rash and intentional acts , Plaintiff suffered heavily.15) It is further submitted that D1 & D2 misrepresented that the courtOrder passed in IA No. 446/12 in OS No. 122/12 of the District Judge,Ranga Reddy District Court was lapsed and court refused to extend therestraining order, and this was briefed by none other than D1’s owncounsel Mr.K.Vivek Reddy who represented D1 in the court and this wasreported in "Times of India" dated on March 4 2012 and whereas actuallythe order of the court is still subsisting as on today. Thus D1 &D2 havedefamed Plaintiff in number of ways and also twisted the facts in adistorted fashion and gave erroneous version in the newspapers aboutthe court orders.16) It is further submitted that a conspiracy act is cooking around Plaintiff,because D1 don’t want Plaintiff to come up with Project work nor D1 wantPlaintiff working for their competitor as his work eliminate the fake andanonymous users flooding in Facebook and directly and indirectly D1 havestopped Plaintiff’s growth and his survival is at stake because of D1’s rashand negligent acts.17) It is further submitted that with these kind of profiles against Plaintiffand flooding in the online world with no guarantee to stop, both hisprofessional and private life are at stake and affecting and it’s much morepainful to see that D1 is using Plaintiff’s surname which is also affectingeven his family members too and Plaintiff’s brother is unable to get anymatrimonial alliance because of D1’s posting and the surname it carries to
    • his brother and the entire society frequently speaks with suspicion and looksdown as if Plaintiff is a criminal and has committed a crime. It’s agonizingto see them go through all of this which is causing mental agony to Plaintiffand also his family members.18) It is further submitted that this is the second time D1 &D2 has publishedstatements in public which are false and unreal, the statements are about theCharacter and reputation of Plaintiff which carry malicious intentions toharm Plaintiff. D1 & D2 have willfully and intentionally spoiling Plaintiff’sreputation and also causing mental agony.19) It is further submitted that D1 & D2 have published Plaintiff’s profileand clearly mentioned that he praised the radical movements supportingthe hardcore terrorist like Abu Hamza and Dawood Ibrahim who are themost wanted in the world. It clearly states that D1&D2 want to humiliatePlaintiff in every aspect and portray Plaintiff in every possible way which iswrong and negative. By stating these utter lies that Plaintiff had some soughtof connection or influence of these anti-social people, D1&D2 wanted toprove that Plaintiff is mentally ill person. Moreover D1&D2 have not evenspared Plaintiff’s marriage life stating that he is divorced and falseimpression goes to the people who know Plaintiff. People reading orwatching them, particularly young people are bound to believe what theyread or watch. In Plaintiff’s case, D1&D2 both spoiled his reputation,respect and most important the character assassination. All of this whichPlaintiff cannot assess in terms of any value as they form his existence inthis world and the loss of character is immeasurable and incalculable.20) It is further submitted that to establish in the internet business with theproduct he was developing and bring good appreciation to the country andrevenues to the Government of India and Government of Andhra Pradeshand D1 & D2’s are hindering that to happen. In any business, two things arevery vital – one being brands name and the other reputation. With thisrelentless damage being done to Plaintiff, Plaintiff lost jobs which he wouldhave gainfully employed nor do the internet business successfully. Underthose circumstances only damages would meet the ends of justice to Plaintiffand Defendants have done the following acts.
    • 21) It is further submitted that D1 & D2 had published hisgraphical representation of his photo in the Facebook as Al –Qaida, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Harkat- ul- Mujahedeen man and first one obtainedfalse court order against Plaintiff and terrorized to leave the USA andbecause of D1, Plaintiff left the USA at gun point and D1’s court ordersare self explanatory and because of D1’s court orders and threatening,Plaintiff had left the USA and his earnings were lost and no otheremployer is willing to take because of publications in the FACE BOOKand his future earnings are also were lost and benefits of increments weredeprived and because of D1, Plaintiff lost the business in the webcommunity and D1 have made arrangements to stab Plaintiff twice inHyderabad and traumatized his life and caused heavy mental agony bothin USA and also in India and defamed Plaintiff before obtaining therestraint order from the Hon’ble District Judge, RR District and also afterobtaining restraint order by false publications in the news paper and alsopublication of Plaintiff’s photo in the FACE BOOK as Drake Smith andon account of all these aspects, Plaintiff lost heavily and his life is at stakeand because both of D1 & D2 had committed the damages, the followingdamages are calculated which are as follows:Quantum of Damages:1)a)Loss of Salary right from January 2011 i.e. USD 9200 Per Month till July 2012 i.e. 18 months = USD 1,65,600/-i.e. 1.65,600=00 X55= Rs. 91,08,000=00b) Future loss of earnings: Taking the average retirement age at 60 years, theloss of future earnings is 27 years.USD 1, 10,000X27= 29, 70,000x55= Rs.16, 33, 50,000=002. Apart from that there will be a regular 10% hike in salary every yearaccording to any company standards (16, 33, 50,000 = 10% makes 1, 63, 50,000 (1.635 crore)3. Mental agony: Rs.10, 00, 00,000=00 (Rs.10 crores)
    • 4.Loss from Website business:Average 17 unique user registration are done on daily basis (17 x 30 days =510 users/month) which makes user registration per year (17/day x 365days = 6205 users/year)And in any internet domain business, number of user registration generatesrevenue source for the business (ex...Ads) and with this proportion if i runmy website business for 10 -15 yrs (6205 x 15 years = 93075 users) and if single user makes a revenue of 5USD in these tenure5x 55= 275 (93075 x 275 = 25595625) = 2, 55, 95,625=00BRIEF DETAILS:Loss of Salary Rs. 91,08,000=00Future earnings: = Rs . 16,33,50,000=00Future increments: 1.63,00,000=00Mental agony : 10,00,00,000=00Loss from websiteBusiness: 2,55,95,625=00 -----------------------Total damages Rs. 31,43,53,625 or $ 57,15,520=00 taking $ @ Rs.55 Therefore this suit for damages against the Defendants and howeverthe Plaintiff is not having money to pay the court fee and he could arrangeonly Rs. 9 lakhs with his personal savings, borrowing from his friends andselling some jewelery etc. and therefore the Plaintiff is restricting his claimof damages of Rs.9 Crores only. Hence this suit.22) JUSTIFICATION FOR THE CLAIM OF DAMAGES OF Rs.9CRORESIt is well said that “A man’s reputation is his property and is morevaluable than any other tangible asset. Every man has the right to havehis reputation preserved. It is acknowledged as an inherent personalright of every person. It is a jus in rem, a right good against all thepeople in the world. The degree of suffering caused by loss of reputationfar exceeds that caused by loss of any material wealth. The Plaintiff’s lifeplans have been shattered by the Defendants and they have defamed in allaspects and D1 went to the Superior court-California and obtained falserestraint order against Plaintiff and at the threat of his life, the Plaintiff wasforced to come to India and D1’s Court order against the Plaintiff clearlyestablishes the harassment of the D1 and D1 spoiled the life of Plaintiff in
    • US. Having came to India, D1 did not leave the Plaintiff alone and postingof Plaintiff’s profiles along with the Wall Posters and linking Plaintiff to Al-Qaida ,Jeshi Mohammed and other terrorists groups, left very bad reputationof the Plaintiff. It is needless to say that the photograph of the Plaintiff wasput in the Facebook on different names i.e. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda,Manukonda Pradeep Kumar, Drake Smith etc… each time, the plaintiffis linked to one terrorist group or the other and this posting of the Plaintiff’sphoto and Wall postings left very bad reputation among the employers andthe reputation of the plaintiff has completely gone down in the eyes ofsociety and by the postings, the entire family of the Plaintiff suffered badly.The postings have caused much mental agony.23) Further when the Plaintiff has filed the OS No.122/12 before thisHon’ble Court and obtained the restraint order in IA No. 446/12 againstDefendants that they should not do any act either overtly or covertly whichin any way affects the reputation of the Plaintiff and intrude into his privacyand while this restrain order is valid till the disposal of the main suit andwhereas the Defendants and his counsel gave the paper statement in Timesof India on 4-3-2012 that the Hon’ble District Court refused to extend theorder after initial time frame has lapsed which is totally false and defamingthe Plaintiff and the Defendants and his Counsel have done immensedamage to the reputation of the Plaintiff and again posted another posting inthe name of Drake Smith with the photo of Plaintiff and this has come to theknowledge in the month of June 2012 after passing the restraint order in IANo. 446/12 in OS No. 122/12.24) The Plaintiff is having a status in the society and he is a softwareengineer and his salary was nearly Rs. 91,08,000=00 and because of postingof false profiles in the Facebook, the future earnings of the Plaintiff of Rs.16,33,50,000=00 is lost and also he lost future increments of Rs.1,63,00,000=00 and had the Defendants had not defamed the Plaintiff, hewould have been living peacefully and would have been happy. The Plaintiffundergone both physical pain and mental agony and in view of hisreputation and status in life, he is claiming Rs. 10 crores for the mentalagony. Further several employers who sent the call letters to the Plaintiff andon coming to know about the bad profiles created by Defendants in
    • Facebook, not inviting the Plaintiff and denying the employmentopportunities and thus Defendants are responsible for heavy loss of life forthe Plaintiff. In over all, though the amount of Rs. 31 crores is estimatedtowards the loss of earnings and loss of reputation and mental agony, thePlaintiff is claiming only Rs. 9 crores in all accounts against the Defendantsand Defendants are liable to pay Rs. 9 crores in all counts for defaming thePlaintiff.25) CAUSE OF ACTION AND LIMITATION :The cause of action arose when the Defendant No.1 posted bad things aboutthe Plaintiff in Face book in the month of May 2011 and termed the Plaintiffas Stalker and Al-Qaida worker and when the Plaintiff was continuing hispet project which is rival to Facebook, the Plaintiff was attacked on 9-7-2011 and his Laptop and Cell phone was stolen which contains valuabledata. Again the Plaintiff was stabbed from behind on 6-8-2011 and on boththe occasion, the Plaintiff had reported to the police and Crime No. 180/11of Shamirpet and Crime No. 366/11 of Jubilee Hills Police Station wereregistered and because of bad posting about the Plaintiff in Facebook asStalker and hacker and Al-Qaida worker, the Plaintiff is portrayed as badperson, Plaintiff’s reputation was spoiled. Further the Plaintiff has filed thedeclaratory suit before the Hon’ble District Judge, RR District on 2-2-2012vide OS No. 122/12 and obtained restraint order on 7-2-2012 vide IA No.446/12 and in spite of restraint order by the Hon’ble District Court, theDefendants have again defamed the Plaintiff as Drake Smith which wascreated by the Defendants in the Facebook with the same UID (user ID) anddefamed and linked the Plaintiff to Al-Qaida worker and this posting wascreated in the month of June 2012 and because of this posting after passingthe restraint order by the Hon’ble District Judge, RR District, this wasknown to the Plaintiff. Further another posting was done against thePlaintiff in the face book in the name of “ Manukonda Pradeep Kumar” andthis profile was created and linked the plaintiff to Jeshi-mohammed and thiswas seen by the Plaintiff on 19-7-2012 and the whole reputation of thePlaintiff was spoiled and Defendants have portrayed that the Plaintiff isfighting against India and he is extremist and divorcee which is all false andincorrect and because of these postings, the employers are denying the
    • opportunities of employment. In all the postings in the Facebook, thePlaintiff’s photograph remains the same.26) Under those circumstances, the Plaintiff sent a legal notice on 21-7-2012to the Defendants and claimed Rs. 31 crores as damages and the DefendantNo.2 had received the Legal Notice on 24-7-2012 and did not choose to sendany reply. Whereas the legal notice sent to D1 both to Hyderabad addressand US address but the postal cover sent to Hyderabad address was refusedto be taken by D1 and the postal cover was returned on 24-7-2012 and it isdeemed that the notice to D1 was served as he refused to take the notice.Further the legal notice was received by D2 who is a subordinate to D1 andimmediately D2 must have scanned the legal notice and sent to D1 and D1 ishaving the knowledge of legal notice but did not choose to give reply nordenied the allegations of the Plaintiff and hence the Defendants are guilty ofthe charges and they are liable for the damages. Hence the cause of action tofile this suit for damages and the same is filed within the limitation.27)JURISDICTION:The Plaintiff is the Resident of Safilguda which is under MalkajgiriMandal and the Defendant No.1 carrying Indian Operations through D2’soffice is also situated in Madhapur which comes under SerlingampallyMandal and as such this Hon’ble court has pecuniary as well asterritorial jurisdiction to try this suit and dispose off the same on merits.28)VALUATION AND COURT FEE: The suit is valued atRs.9,00,00,000=00 for the purpose of jurisdiction and the court fee paid U/s20 of AP court fee and suit valuation Act of 1956 and the court fee ofRs.9,02,426=00 is paid under Art.1 B & C of schedule –I of AP court feeand suit valuation Act of Andhra Pradesh.The total court fee of Rs.(Rupees Nine lakhs two thousand four hundred twenty six only) is remittedby way of Challan in State bank of Hyderabad, Extension counter R.R.District on 1-8-2012 vide Challan No.305
    • 29) PRAYER:Hence it is prayed that the Hon’ble Court may please to pass judgment anddecree against the Defendants jointly and severally for Rs. 9, 00, 00, 000(Rupees Nine crore only) towards the damages for causing harassment inspoiling the reputation of Plaintiff by posting bad profiles, and for causingdefamation, insults and hardships, physical inconvenience, mental agony andfor actual expenditure incurred etc. B) Award future interest at 24% interest on the awarded damages from thedate of filing of suit till the date of actual payment. C) Award costsd) Any other order or orders as the Hon’ble Court may deem fit andproper in the circumstances of the case. PLAINTIFFCOUNSEL FOR THE PLAINTIFF VERIFICATIONI, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda S/o Varahala Babu Manukonda Aged 32years, Occ: Network security analyst R/o Flat No.6 Sai CharanAprtmnts. Behind Bank of India, Safilguda Secunderabad - 500056. dohereby declare that the facts in Para No.1 to are true to the best of myKnowledge information belief and what is stated in the remainingparagraphs is based on the legal advise which I believed to be true henceverified on this day i.e. 2-8-2012 at LB Nagar,Hyderabad. PLAINTIFF
    • LIST OF DOCUMENTS FILED BY THE PLAINTIFFSerial . Date of Description of the Document Exhibit Page No. Document No.s Numbers Extract of Plaintiff as shown in the 1 1. Un-Dated Facebook with his name Ex.A1 Superior Court of California 2. 14-2-2011 Temporary order against Plaintiff Ex.A2 2-6 Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 3. 13-12-2010 filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A3 7-9 Created Gmail to defendant 4. 28-01-2011 Ex.A4 10 Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 5. 23-01-2011 filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A5 11-16 along with the cover Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 6. Un-Dated filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A6 17-19 Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 7. Un-Dated filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A7 20 along False declaration given by the Logistic 8. 31-01-2011 Manager Mr.Toddsheed against the Ex.A8 21-25 plaintiff in the US court 9. 15-02-2011 Stipulation order against the plaintiff Ex.A9 26-27 by superior court of California 10. 15-02-2011 Restraining order issued against the Ex.A10 28-31 plaintiff by the superior court of California 11. 02-05-2011 Copy of the copy right registration in Ex.A11 32 favour of the plaintiff 12. 09-07-2011 Copy of the FIR 180/2011 along with Ex.A12 33-37 the complaint 13. 06-08-2011 Copy of the FIR 366/2011 Ex.A13 38-40 06-09-2011 14. Original land telephone bill of the Ex.A14 41 plaintiff 42 15. 11-08-2009 Copy of the Domestic Gas Ex.A15 subscription voucher of the plaintiff 16. 27-02-2007 Copy of the Passport along with the Ex.A16 43-45 USA VISA In favour of the plaintiff 17 June 2012 Copy of Plaintiff’s profile page as Ex.A17 “ Drake Smith” in Facebook and seen by Plaintiff on June 2012 along with Wall posting mentioning the Plaintiff as Al- Qaida
    • 18 19-7-2012 Copy of Plaintiff’s profile page as Ex.A18 “ Manukonda Pradeep Kumar in Facebook and seen by Plaintiff on 19 July 2012 along with Wall posting and mentioned Plaintiff Jeshi Mohammed.19 6-7-2012 Copy of the employment Offer Ex.A19 issued by Axelon Service Corporation, Kingston, New Jersey dated 6-7-12 offering $125K.20 12-7-2012 Copy of the employment Offer Ex.A20 issued by Axelon Service Corporation, Kingston, New Jersey dated 12-7-12 offering $140K and they went back after seeing the profile in Facebook and wall posting.21 13-6-2012 Copy of Call letter from Wipro Ex.A21 Technologies, Bangalore dated 13-6- 1222 22-6-12 Copy of Call letter from Wipro Ex.A22 Technologies, Bangalore dated 22-6-1223 11-7-2012 Copy of Call letter from Wipro Ex.A23 Technologies, Bangalore dated 11-7-1224 20-5-2012 Copy to Call letter from TCS- Ex.A24 Hyderabad dated 20-5-201225 11/7/12 Copy of Call letter from Ex.A25 Symantec in Mountain View, CA dated 11 Jul 201226 17-5-2012 Copy of Call letter from HP , Ex.A26 Bangalore dated 17-5-1227 6-4-2011 Copy of domain registration Ex.A27 confirmation under the name “myFacebooksocialnetwork.co m” dated 6-4-21128 6-4-2011 Copy of “ Site Worth Ex.A28 Checker” and rate $2.34 “myFacebooksocialnetwork.co m29 21-6-2010 Copy of offer letter from AAA Ex.A29 Computer Servies and fixed the salary as $60k dated 21-6- 201030 12-7-2010 Copy of the Worksheet i.e.proof of Ex.A30 service in EMC dated 12-7-201031 29-10-10 Copy of Earnings Statements Ex.A31 of Pillar Data System dated 29- 10-201032 31-12-2010 Copy of the Income Tax Returns of Ex.A32 Plaintiff for 2010.
    • 33 7-2-2012 Original Certified copy of the orders Ex.A33 passed in IA No. 446/12 in OS No.122/12 by the Hon’ble District Court Judge, RR District 34 4-3-2012 Times of India paper clippings Ex.A34 35 21-7-2012 Office Copy of Legal notice issued to Ex.A35 D1 36 21-7-2012 Original Postal Receipt i.e. proof of Ex.A36 sending legal notice to D1 37 24-7-2012 Original Returned Postal cover Ex.A37 received from D1 38 21-7-2012 Office Copy of Legal notice issued to Ex.A38 D2 39 21-7-2012 Original Postal Receipt i.e. proof of Ex.A39 sending legal notice to D2 40 24-7-2012 Office copy of Internet extract about Ex.A40 the proof of delivery of legal notice to D2 COUNSEL FOR THE PLAINTIFFDated 2-08-2012Hyderabad
    • IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT AND SESSIONS JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR O.S.No.122/2012 700/2012 Between: Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDA …Plaintiff AND1)Mr MARK ZUCKERBERG 2) M/s Facebook rep.by Mr. Karthiga Reddy – CMD Director Online Indian Operations, Hyderabad …Defendants SUIT FOR DAMAGES OF RS.9 CRORESPLAINT FILED UNDER SECTION 26 AND UNDER ORDER 7 RULE 1 & 2 OF CPC Filed on: 2-08-2012 Filed By: Plaintiff
    • ADDRESS FOR SERVICE S.SIVA SHANKER MOSHE MARPU B.VIJAYA KUMAR M.N.SREELATHA ADVOCATES 407/6-1-9&10, PADMARAONAGAR, SECUNDERABAD-25. IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT AND SESSIONS JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR O.S.No. /12Between:Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDAS/o Varahala Babu ManukondaAged 32 years, Occ: Network security analystR/o Flat No.6, Sai Charan Aprtmnts.Behind Bank of India,Safilguda Sec-bad - 500056. ..PlaintiffAND1) Mr MARK ZUCKERBERG2)M/s Facebook rep.byMr. Karthiga Reddy - CMD Director OnlineIndian Operations,B 14, Opus Towers, Mind spaceCyber Towers, Hyderabad, India - 500081 …Defendants VERIFIED AFFIDAVITI, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda S/o VarahalaBabu Manukonda Aged 32 years, Occ: Networksecurity analyst R/o Flat No.6 Sai CharanAprtmnts. Behind Bank of India, SafilgudaSecunderabad - 500056.I am the Plaintiff and as such I am well acquaintedwith the facts of the case.
    • I have filed the above suit for damages of Rs. 9crores against the Defendants and I have verifiedall the paras in the suit and found that they arecorrect and true to the best of my knowledge andbelief, hence I have verified and pray the Hon’bleCourt to number the suit and pass suitable orders. DEPONENTSworned and Signed before meOn this day the 2-8-2012At LB Nagar, Hyderabad. //ADVOCATE// IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT SESSIONS JUDGE,RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR O.S.No.122/2012 700/2012 Between: Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDA …Plaintiff AND 1)Mr MARK ZUCKERBERG 2) M/s Facebook rep.by Mr. Karthiga Reddy – CMD Director Online Indian Operations, Hyderabad …Defendants VERIFIED AFFIDAVIT
    • Filed on: 2-08-2012 Filed By: Plaintiff ADDRESS FOR SERVICE S.SIVA SHANKER MOSHE MARPU B.VIJAYA KUMAR M.N.SREELATHA ADVOCATES 407/6-1-9&10, PADMARAONAGAR, SECUNDERABAD-25. FORM No. 61 (171 payment in to the Court of cash/ process Fee Deposit) IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT: L.B.NAGARNature of process to be issued or purpose for which money is O.S.No. 700/2012 ,122/2012 Between: Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDA ……..Plaintiff And Mr.MARK ZUCKERBERG, & Another …Defendants Travelling allowance to and from the Court House Expenses of sale or commission deposited and Order if any under which deposit Distance in miles from the Court House Village, Taluque, District, Munsiff where process is to executed Class of allowance Subsistence Allowance Name and Description of person on whom or on Whose property the process is to be executed AMOUNT Process Fees made
    • D1) Mr MARK ZUCKERBERG S/o not known, aged about 27 years,Through Rs.35/- Occ: CEO of Facebook,Court Permanent R/o 1601 S California Avenue Palo Alto,CA 94304 United States of America Hyderabad address of Facebook, Mr.Mark Zuckerberg , M/s Facebook ,B 14, Opus Towers, Mind space Cyber Towers, Hyderabad, India – 500081. Rs.35/- D2)M/s Facebook rep.by Ms. Karthiga Reddy - CMD Director Online Indian Operations, B 14, Opus Towers, Mind space Cyber Towers, Hyderabad, India - 500081 Total Rs. 70/- It is requested that the sum of Rs. 70/- may be received for the purpose above mentioned. Dated this the 2nd of August o 2012 Advocate for the Plaintiff IN THE COURT OF THE HON`BLE DISTRICT JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT: L.B.NAGAR O. S. No.700 / 2012, 122/2012 Between: Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda, ….Plaintiff AND Mr.MARK ZUCKERBERG & Another
    • -- Defendants Process Fees Cash DEPOSIT FORM Filed on: 02-8 -2012 Filed by: M/s. S. SIVA SHANKAR(4752 ) MOSHE MARPU, (AP/2157/2003) B.VIJAYA KUMAR M.N SREELTHA ADVOCATE S R/O.407/6 -1-9&10, Padma Rao Nagar, SECUNDRABAD -5000 25 Phone No. 91-9246169599, 91- 9949150977 (Counsel for Plaintiff) FORM NO.2 SUMMONS FOR SETTLEMENT OF ISSUES (Order V Rules 3&5)IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT: L.B.NAGAR O.S.No. 700 / 2012Between:Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDA …..Plaintiff AND1) Mr MARK ZUCKERBERG & Another …….Defendants
    • To(D-1) Mr. MARK ZUCKERBERG S/o not known, aged about 27 years,Occ: CEO of Facebook, Permanent R/o 1601 S California Avenue PaloAlto,CA 94304 United States of America Hyderabad address of Facebook,Mr.Mark Zuckerberg , M/s Facebook ,B 14, Opus Towers, Mind spaceCyber Towers, Hyderabad, India – 500081. Whereas the Plaintiff has instituted a suit against youfor damages of Rs. 9 crores. You are hereby summoned to appear in thiscourt in person or by a pleader duly instructed and able to answer allmaterial question relating to the suit or who shall be accompanied by someperson able to answer all such question on the day__________________ at10-30 AM in the forenoon to answer the claim and further you are herebydirected to file on that day a written statement of your defense and toproduce on the said day all documents in your possession or power uponwhich you base as your defense. TAKE Notice that in default of your appearance on the day beforementioned the suit is hear and determined in your absence.GIVEN under my hand seal of the court this_________ day_______ 2012 Sd/- DISTRICT JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT, LB NAGAR HYDERABAD-74. FORM NO.2 SUMMONS FOR SETTLEMENT OF ISSUES (Order V Rules 3&5)IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT: L.B.NAGAR O.S.No. / 2012Between:Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDA …..Plaintiff AND1) Mr. MARK ZUCKERBERG& Another …….Defendants
    • To(D-2) M/s Facebook rep.by Ms. Karthiga Reddy - CMD Director OnlineIndian Operations, B 14, Opus Towers, Mind space, Cyber Towers,Hyderabad, India – 500081. Whereas the Plaintiff has instituted a suit against you for damages of Rs. 9crores. You are hereby summoned to appear in this court in person or by apleader duly instructed and able to answer all material question relating tothe suit or who shall be accompanied by some person able to answer all suchquestion on the day__________________ at 10-30 AM in the forenoon toanswer the claim and further you are hereby directed to file on that day awritten statement of your defense and to produce on the said day alldocuments in your possession or power upon which you base as yourdefense. TAKE Notice that in default of your appearance on the day beforementioned the suit is hear and determined in your absence.GIVEN under my hand seal of the court this_________ day_______ 2012 Sd/- DISTRICT JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT, LB NAGAR HYDERABAD-74. IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT SESSIONS JUDGE RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR I.A.No. /12 IN O.S.No. /12Between:Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDAS/o Varahala Babu ManukondaAged 32 years, Occ: Network security analystR/o Flat No.6 Sai Charan Aprtmnts.Behind Bank of India,Safilguda Sec-bad - 500056. ..Plaintiff AND
    • 1) Mr MARK ZUCKERBERGS/o Edward Zuckerberg, aged about 27 years,Occ: CEO of Facebook,Permanent R/o 1601 S California Avenue Palo Alto,CA 94304United States of AmericaHyderabad address of Facebook,Mr.Mark Zuckerberg ,M/s Facebook ,B 14, Opus Towers,Mind space Cyber Towers,Hyderabad, India – 500081.2)M/s Facebook rep.byMs. Karthiga Reddy - CMD Director Online Indian Operations,B 14, Opus Towers, Mind spaceCyber Towers, Hyderabad, India - 500081 …Defendants AFFIDAVITI, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda S/o Varahala Babu ManukondaAged 32 years, Occ: Network security analyst R/o Flat No.6 SaiCharan Aprtmnts. Behind Bank of India, Safilguda Secunderabad -500056.2) I am the Plaintiff and as such I am well acquainted with the factsof the case. I submit that the above plaint averments may be readas part and parcel of this affidavit.3) I further submit that my plaint may please be read as part andparcel of this affidavit for better appreciation of my case.4) I further submit that the Defendants started spoiling myreputation repeatedly and in spite of this court direction, theDefendants started posting in the name of Drake Smith andManukonda Pradeep Kumar and caused immense damage to myreputation and personality and caused heavy loss to me. Since Iam fed up with their activities, I have issued the legal notice on 21-7-2012 and both the Defendants have received the legal notices butfailed to reply and under those circumstances, I have claimeddamages for Rs. 9 crores.5) I further submit that the Defendant No.1 is planning tomove the Indian operations from Hi-tech City, Madhapur to
    • Mumbai, Maharashtra and if the office is shifted immediately toMumbai, it would be very difficult to execute the decree that theHon’ble Court may please to pass in future.6) Hence I pray the Hon’ble Court to direct the Defendants tofurnish the security to the extent of Rs. 9 crores before judgment inthe interest of justice; otherwise I will be put to irreparable loss andinjury. DEPONENTSworned and Signed before meOn this day the 2-8-2012At LB Nagar, Hyderabad. //ADVOCATE// IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT SESSIONS JUDGE RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR I.A.No. /12 IN O.S.No. /12Between:Mr. PRADEEP KUMAR MANUKONDAS/o Varahala Babu ManukondaAged 32 years, Occ: Network security analystR/o Flat No.6 Sai Charan Aprtmnts.Behind Bank of India,Safilguda Sec-bad - 500056. Petnr/Plaintiff
    • AND1) Mr MARK ZUCKERBERGS/o Edward Zuckerberg, aged about 27 years,Occ: CEO of Facebook,Permanent R/o 1601 S California Avenue Palo Alto,CA 94304United States of AmericaHyderabad address of Facebook,Mr.Mark Zuckerberg ,M/s Facebook ,B 14, Opus Towers,Mind space Cyber Towers,Hyderabad, India – 500081.2)M/s Facebook rep.byMs. Karthiga Reddy - CMD Director Online Indian Operations,B 14, Opus Towers, Mind spaceCyber Towers, Hyderabad, India - 500081 Respts/Defendants PETITION FILED UNDER ORDER 38 RULE 5 R/W SEC.151 OF CPCFor the reasons stated in the accompanying affidavit, it is prayedthat the Hon’ble Court may please to direct the Defendants tofurnish the security to the extent of Rs. 9 crores before judgment inthe interest of justice, otherwise the Petitioner will be put toirreparable loss and injury. COUNSEL FOR PETITIONERDt.2-8-2012,LB NAGAR IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT SESSIONS JUDGE,RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR I.A.No. /12 IN O.S.No. /2012 Between: Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda …Plaintiff
    • AND1)Mr MARK ZUCKERBERG2) M/s Facebook rep.by Ms. Karthiga Reddy – CMD Director Online Indian Operations, Hyderabad …Defendants PETITION FILED UNDER ORDER 38 RULE 5 R/W SECTION 151 OF CPC Filed on: 2-08-2012 Filed By: Plaintiff ADDRESS FOR SERVICE S.SIVA SHANKER MOSHE MARPU B.VIJAYA KUMAR M.N.SREELATHA ADVOCATES 407/6-1-9&10, PADMARAONAGAR, SECUNDERABAD-25.
    • IN THE COURT OF DISTRICT AND SESSIONS JUDGE, RANGA REDDY DISTRICT COURT AT LB NAGAR O.S.No. / 2012Between:Mr. Pradeep Kumar Manukonda ……..Plaintiff AndMr.MARK ZUCKERBERG, M/s Facebook, …Defendant LIST OF DOCUMENTS FILED BY THE PLAINTIFFSerial . Date of Description of the Document Exhibit Page No. Document No.s Numbers Extract of Plaintiff as shown in the 1 1. Un-Dated Facebook with his name Ex.A1 Superior Court of California Temporary 2. 14-2-2011 order against Plaintiff Ex.A2 2-6 Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 3. 13-12-2010 filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A3 7-9 Created Gmail to defendant 4. 28-01-2011 Ex.A4 10 Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 5. 23-01-2011 filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A5 11-16 along with the cover Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 6. Un-Dated filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A6 17-19 Forced hand writing letter of plaintiff 7. Un-Dated filed by the defendant before US court Ex.A7 20 along False declaration given by the Logistic 8. 31-01-2011 Manager Mr.Toddsheed against the Ex.A8 21-25 plaintiff in the US court Stipulation order against the plaintiff by 9. 15-02-2011 superior court of California Ex.A9 26-27 Restraining order issued against the 10. 15-02-2011 plaintiff by the superior court of Ex.A10 28-31 California 11. 02-05-2011 Copy of the copy right registration in Ex.A11 32 favour of the plaintiff Copy of the FIR 180/2011 along with 12. 09-07-2011 the complaint Ex.A12 33-37 Copy of the FIR 366/2011 13. 06-08-2011 Ex.A13 38-40 06-09-2011 Original land telephone bill of the 14. plaintiff Ex.A14 41 Copy of the Domestic Gas subscription 42 15. 11-08-2009 voucher of the plaintiff Ex.A15 Copy of the Passport along with the 16. 27-02-2007 USA VISA Ex.A16 43-45 In favour of the plaintiffDated 03-2-2012
    • Hyderabad COUNSEL FOR THE PLAINTIFFLAW OF DEFAMATIONA man’s reputation is his property and is more valuable thanany other tangible asset. Every man has the right to have hisreputation preserved. It is acknowledged as an inherentpersonal right of every person. It is a jus in rem, a right goodagainst all the people in the world. The degree of sufferingcaused by loss of reputation far exceeds that caused by loss ofany material wealth.
    • The Law of Defamation protects reputation. Defamation isdefined as follows:Defamation is the publication of a statement which reflects on aperson’s reputation and tends to lower him in the estimation ofright-thinking members of society generally or tends to makethem shun or avoid him.In English Common Law, reputation is the most clearlyprotected and is remedied almost exclusively in civil law by anaward of damages after trial by a jury. However reputationcan rarely be assessed in financial terms but the damagesawarded in most defamation cases are substantial becausethese awards reflect the juries’ ideas of the value of dignity andhonour as well as reputation. At the same time, there is sometension between this wrong and the freedom of speech,particularly the freedom of the press and broadcast media andthe common law which has felt the influence of the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights.However, the Law of Defamation like many other branches oftort law aims at balancing the interests of the partiesconcerned. These are the rights that a person has to hisreputation vis-à-vis the right to freedom of speech. The Law ofDefamation provides defences to the wrong such as truth andprivilege thus also protecting right of freedom of speech but atthe same time marking the boundaries within which it may belimited. In India tort law is obtained from British CommonLaw and is yet uncodified. Therefore the existing law relatingto defamation places reasonable restrictions on thefundamental right of freedom of speech and expressionconferred by Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution and is savedby clause (2) of Article 19.The wrong of defamation may be committed by makingdefamatory statements which are calculated to expose a personto hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to injure him in his trade,business, profession, calling or office, or to cause him to beshunned or avoided in society. This is known as “publication”of the statement, which in its true legal sense means thecommunication of defamatory matter to some person otherthan the person of whom it is written. These statements can bemade in the following two ways:1. Libel: The publication of a false and defamatory statement tending to injure the reputation of another person without lawful justification or excuse. The statement must be in a printed form, e.g., writing, printing, pictures, cartoons, statue, waxwork effigy etc.2. Slander: A false and defamatory statement by spoken words and/or gestures tending to injure the reputation of
    • others. It is in a transient form. It also involves the sign language used by the physically disabled.In Common law, a libel is a criminal offence as well as a civilwrong, but a slander is a civil wrong only. However in Indianlaw, both are criminal offences under Sec. 499 of the I.P.C.Libel is more favourable to the claimant because it isactionable per se and injury to reputation will bepresumed. The Faulks Committee in its report in 1975recommended the abolition of this distinction between libel andslander which when implemented will mean that no humanplaintiff need prove any special damage but institutionalplaintiffs should prove that the words actually caused loss orwere likely to do so. The weight of the authorities is fordiscarding between libel and slander and making both of themactionable per se. However, whether the case is one of libel orslander, the following elements must be proved by the claimantin order for the defendant to be liable for the tort ofdefamation:1. The statement (the technically correct term is “imputation”) is defamatory.2. It refers to the plaintiff i.e. identifies him.3. It has been published i.e. communicated to at least one person other than the claimant.Defamation is a unique tort, especially when understood in itshistorical context. Until the 16th century in England, generaljurisdiction over defamation was exercised by the clergy.Thereafter, the common law courts developed an action on thecase for slander where ‘temporal’, as distinct from ‘spiritual’damage could be established. This progress became too rapidfor the judges who proceeded to hedge the action around withtighter restrictions. Later, the common law courts established adistinction between libel and slander on the basis that damagecould be presumed in libel, but that the plaintiff would have toprove ‘special damage’ before an action for slander would lie.In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, liability indefamation was extended because of the menace to reputationsoccasioned by the new, popular press with its mass circulation.The recent history of defamation is marked by continuingconflict between the need to protect individuals fromunjustifiable character assassination and the right to freedomof the speech. The press maintains that the latter is oftendisregarded at the expense of open and honest criticism ofthose in authority. But in Derbyshire County Council v TimesNewspapers Ltd the press scored a notable victory. The Houseof Lords ruled that a democratically elected body should beopen to uninhibited public criticism and that the threat of a
    • defamatory action would surely inhibit the freedom of speechof the press. However, in Reynolds V Times Newspapers Ltd TheCourt of Appeal was mindful of the fact that the EuropeanRights Convention, which stressed upon the fundamentality ofthe right to freedom of speech, was destined to become a partof common law and that thus there should be allowed thedefence of qualified privilege to be raised by the press whencommenting on public figures.Defamation actions have proved to be a popular recourse forwealthy public figures seeking, with the aid of expensivelawyers, to vindicate their reputations publicly in the lawcourts. To a certain extent, the tort of defamation is a wealthyperson’s tort, for legal aid is available neither to pursue, nor todefend, a defamation action. On the other hand, in the past, anumber of libel actions have, on occasion, been supported byprivate funds set up by wealth individuals with an axe to grindwho have themselves suffered at the hands of the popularpress.Another notable facet of defamation actions in recent years isthe very high level of damages awarded, which have not simplycompensated the plaintiffs for their loss of reputation but havealso included a very sizeable amount of punitive damages. Theamount of damages is normally set by a jury. Also defamationhas become a very lucrative specialisation for lawyers too.Most of the decided cases of defamation reveal that they do notconcern the essence of the claim itself, but rather, complexarguments on pleadings and particulars. In consequence, legalcosts consume large proportions of the claims itself.Defamation is a relatively new tort for Indian Law. Not manydefamation suits were filed in the country until recently andthe only ones that were filed were those by film stars and therich and the famous, against the media, trying to salvage theirreputation. However, now after the media revolution in thiscountry, and with people becoming more aware of their rights,the frequency of defamation suits being filed is increasing.Recently, there have been a few cases where a few journalistshave ‘exposed’ the corrupt side of the politicians by discreetlyfilming a politician with a hidden camera when he was taking abribe for posing questions in parliament or religious headsdiscreetly accepting bribes in order to go ahead and declaresomething about their religion, distorting completely thereligious principles they are supposed to uphold and by misusethe authority vested in him/her. In India these days, it is thiscategory of people who file defamation suits against the mediafor destroying their reputation and questioning the veracity ofthese hidden recordings. Now, not only are celebrities filing
    • lawsuits, but many not-so-famous people are realizing that iftheir right to reputation is violated, they can make sure thatthe offender is punished and can walk away with a handsomesum as compensation too. Clearly, India is on its path tobecome a litigious society.Chapter One: The constituents of the Tort of DefamationRegardless of whether a defamation action is framed in libel orslander, the plaintiff must always prove that the words,pictures, gestures etc are defamatory. Equally, the plaintiffmust show that they refer to him. Finally he must also provethat they were maliciously published. These are the threeessential elements in a defamation action.Elements of Defamation(A) The statement must be defamatoryAny imputation which exposes one to disgrace and humiliation,ridicule or contempt, is defamatory. It could be made indifferent ways as in it could be oral, in writing, printed or bythe exhibition of a picture, effigy or statue or by some conduct.According to Lord Atkins, whether a statement is defamatoryor not depends upon how the right thinking members of societythe society are likely to take it. Yet the term ‘right-thinkingmembers of society’ is highly ambiguous. The standard to beapplied is that of a right-minded citizen, a man of fair averageintelligence, and not that of a special class of persons whosevalues are not shared or approved by the fair minded membersof that society generally. If the likely effect of the statement isthe injury to the plaintiff’s reputation, it is no defence to saythat it was not intended to be defamatory. When the statementcauses anyone to be regarded with feelings of hatred,contempt, ridicule, fear, dislike, or disesteem, it is defamatory.In D.P. Choudhary v. Manjulata there was publication of astatement in a local daily in Jodhpur that Manjulata on thepretext of attending her evening BA classes ran away with aboy named Kamlesh. The girl belonged to a well educatedrespectable family. She was seventeen years of age. The newsitem was untrue and had been irresponsibly published withoutany justification. This was defamatory and the defendants, thenewspaper publishers were held liable.However, words spoken in anger or annoyance or in the heat ofthe moment are not defamatory as they no way reflect on thecharacter of the one being abused.However, sometimes the statement being used to defame maybe prima facie innocent but becomes defamatory because ofsome latent or hidden meaning. In such a scenario the plaintiffmust prove the hidden meaning, which is the innuendo if s/hewants to file a suit for defamation. For instance in Cassidy V
    • Daily Mirror Newspapers the newspaper published a picture ofa lady and the race horse owner with the caption underneath,“Mr. M. Corrigan, the race-horse owner and Miss X whoseengagement has been announced”. The newspaper was heldliable in a suit that said that the lady was the lawful wife of Mr.Corrigan and complained that the words suggested that shehad been living with him in immortality. The liability of thedefendants rested on their failure to make independentinquiry. This also brings forth another aspect of this tort thatintention to defame is not necessary and if the words areconsidered to be defamatory by the persons to whom thestatement is published, there is defamation.(B) The statement must refer to the plaintiffThe plaintiff has to prove that the statement which is claimedto be defamatory actually refers to him/her. It is immaterialthat the defendant did not intend to defame the plaintiff, if theperson to whom the statement was published could reasonablyinfer that the statement referred to the plaintiff, the defendantis nevertheless liable.In Hulton Co. V Jones the defendants published a fictionalarticle in their newspaper in which aspersions were cast on themorals of a fictitious character-Artemus Jones, stated to be aChurchwarden. On this basis one Artemus Jones, a barrister,brought an action against the defendants. The defendantspleaded that Artemus was a fictional character and theplaintiff was not known to them and thus they had no intentionto defame him. Notwithstanding this, they were held liablebecause a substantial number of persons who knew theplaintiff and had read the editorial would have assumed it tobe referring to him.However, when the defamation refers to a class of persons, nomember of that group can sue unless he can prove that thewords could reasonably be considered to be referring to him.When the statement though generally referring to a class canbe reasonably considered to be referring to a particularplaintiff, his action will succeed. In Fanu v. Malcomson, in anarticle published by the defendants, it was mentioned thatcruelty was practised upon employees in some of the Irishfactories. From the article as a whole including a reference toWaterford itself, it was considered that the plaintiff’sWaterford factory was aimed at in the article and the plaintiffwas, therefore, successful in his action for defamation.(C) The statement must be publishedPublication means making the defamatory matter known tosome other third part and unless that is done, no civil actionfor defamation can lie in court. Communication to the plaintiff
    • wont count because defamation is injury to the reputationwhich consists in the estimation in which others hold him andnot a man’s own opinion of himself. However, if a third partywrongfully intercepts and reads a letter sent to the plaintiff it isnot defamation. However when the defendant knows that theletter is likely to be read by someone else and it contains somepersonal information only meant for the recipient, then he willbe liable.Also, an injunction can be issued against the publication of adefamatory statement which is likely to injure the reputationof one of the arties involved as was done in PrameelaRavindran v. P. Lakshmikutty Amma .Also, in the eyes of the law, husband and wife are one personand the communication of a defamatory matter from thehusband to the wife or vice versa is no publication.When the repetition of the defamatory matter is involved, theliability of the person who repeats that defamatory matter isthe same as that of the originator, because every repetition is afresh publication giving rise to a fresh cause of action. Not onlythe author is liable but the editor, printer or publisher wouldbe liable in the same way.Chapter Two: Defences to the Tort of Defamation(A) Justification by truthIn a civil action for defamation, truth is a complete defence.However under criminal law, it must also be proved that theimputation was made for the public good. Under the civil law,merely proving that the statement was true is a good defencethe reason being that “the law will not permit a man to recoverdamages in respect of an injury to a character which he eitherdoes no or ought not to possess”The defence is available even if the statement is mademaliciously and if the statement is substantially true butincorrect in respect of certain other minor particulars, thedefence will still be available.The Defamation Act, 1952 (England) provides that if there areseveral charges of defamation and the defendant is successfulin proving the truth of only some of them, the defence ofjustification might still be available if the charges not proveddo not materially injure the reputation.Although there is no specific provision in India regarding theabove, the law is possibly the same as prevailing in England.(B) A fair and bona fide comment on a matter of publicinterestIt involves making fair comments on matters of public interest.For this defence to be available, the following essentials arerequired:
    • (i) It must be a comment, i.e., an expression of opinion ratherthan an assertion of fact(ii) The comment must be fair, i.e., must be based on the truthand not on untrue or invented facts(iii) The matter commented upon must be of public interest.If due to malice on the part of the defendant, the comment is adistorted one, his comment ceases to be fair and he cannot takesuch a defence. In Gregory V Duke of Brunswick the plaintiff,an actor, appeared on the stage of a theatre but the defendantand other persons in malice started hooting and hissing andthereby caused him to lose his engagement. This was held toactionable and an unfair comment on the plaintiff’sperformance and the defendants were held to be guilty.(C) Privilege - It is of two kinds:· Absolute Privilege: Certain statements are allowed to bemade when the larger interest of the community overrides theinterest of the individual. No action lies for the defamatorystatement even though it may be false or malicious. In suchcases, the public interest demands that an individuals right toreputation should give way to the freedom of speech. Thisprivilege is provided to:(i) Parliamentary proceedings,(ii) judicial proceedings,(iii) Military and Naval proceedings and(iv) State proceedings.· Qualified Privilege: For communications made in the courseof legal, social or moral duty, for self-protection, protection ofcommon interest, for public good and proceedings at publicmeetings, provided the absence of malice is proved. Also, theremust be an occasion for making the statement. To avail thisdefence, the following things must be kept in mind:(i) The statement should be made in discharge of a public dutyor protection of an interest(ii) Or, it is a fair report of parliamentary, judicial or otherpublic proceedings(iii) The statement should be made without any malice.Chapter Three: An Analysis of an English defamation case:douglas V hello! magazineIn this case, the upcoming glamorous wedding of the claimants,both Hollywood celebrities had received widespread coveragein the tabloid press. In November 2000 OK! A tabloid journalentered into a contract with Michael Douglas and CatherineZeta-Jones, for the exclusive right to publish photographs oftheir forthcoming wedding on 18 November 2000 at the PlazaHotel, New York. The Douglases dealt with OK!, who paidthem £1m for the rights, in preference to the rival magazine
    • Hello!, published by the respondent. The Douglases agreed toengage a photographer and to supply OK! with pictures theyhad chosen. By clause 6 of the agreement they agreed to usetheir best efforts to ensure that no one else would take anyphotographs.The Douglases went to some lengths to comply with thisobligation and no criticism is made of their securityprecautions, but a freelance photographer named RupertThorpe infiltrated the wedding and took photographs which hesold to Hello!. OK! obtained an ex parte injunction restrainingpublication by Hello! but on 23 November 2000 the injunctionwas discharged by the Court of Appeal and the photographswere published on the following day. A few hours earlier on thesame day OK! published its own photographs, having broughtforward its date of publication on account of what it knew tobe the imminent publication by Hello! Also on the same day,some of the unauthorized pictures were, without objection byHello!, published in national daily newspapers.OK! sued Hello! for breach of confidence and for the tort ofcausing loss by unlawful means.Lindsay J held Hello! liable for breach of confidence. Heapplied the well-known criteria summarized by Megarry J inCoco v AN Clark (Engineers) Ltd [1969] RPC 41, 47:“First, the information itself…must ‘have the necessary qualityof confidence about it. Secondly, that information must havebeen imparted in circumstances importing an obligation ofconfidence. Thirdly, there must be an unauthorised use of thatinformation to the detriment of the party communicating it.”For this purpose the judge identified the information as beingphotographic images of the wedding. Not information aboutthe wedding generally; anyone was free to communicate theinformation that the Douglases had been married, describewhat the bride wore and so forth. The claim was only thatthere had been a breach of an obligation of confidence inrespect of photographic images.Lindsay J held that the three conditions were satisfied. As forthe first, photographs of the wedding were confidentialinformation in the sense that none were publicly available. Asto the second, the Douglases had made it clear that anyoneadmitted to the wedding was not to make or communicatephotographic images. They allowed people to witness theirmarriage, but only on the basis that the information which thespectators thereby obtained was not communicated in the formof a photographic image. The judge said (at para 197):“the very facts that Hello! and OK! competed for exclusivity asthey did and that each was ready to pay so much for it points to
    • the commercial confidentiality of coverage of the event. Theevent was private in character and the elaborate steps to excludethe uninvited, to include only the invited, to precludeunauthorized photography, to control the authorizedphotography and to have had the claimants’ intentions in thatregard made clear all conduce to that conclusion. Such imagesas were, so to speak, radiated by the event were imparted to thosepresent, including Mr Thorpe and his camera, in circumstancesimporting an obligation of confidence. Everyone there knew thatwas so.”Furthermore, everyone knew that the obligation of confidencewas imposed for the benefit of OK! as well as the Douglases. Tono one could this have been clearer than to Mr Thorpe. Thejudge then went on to make findings about the circumstancesin which Hello! had acquired his photographs:“198. As for the Hello! defendants, their consciences were, in myview, tainted; they were not acting in good faith nor by way offair dealing. Whilst their position might have been worse had Iheld that the taking of unauthorised pictures for use by them hadbeen truly commissioned in advance, even without that there isin my view enough to afflict their conscience. They knew thatOK! had an exclusive contract; as persons long engaged in therelevant trade, they knew what sort of provisions any suchcontract would include and that it would include provisionsintended to preclude intrusion and unauthorised photography.Particularly would that be so where, as they knew, a veryconsiderable sum would have had to have been paid for theexclusive rights which had been obtained. … The surroundingfacts were such that a duty of confidence should be inferred fromthem. The Hello! defendants had indicated to paparazzi inadvance that they would pay well for photographs and they knewthe reputation of the paparazzi for being able to intrude. Theunauthorised pictures themselves plainly indicated they weretaken surreptitiously. Yet these defendants firmly kept their eyesshut lest they might see what they undeniably knew would havebecome apparent to them.”The obligation of confidence was therefore binding upon Hello!and the third requirement of use to the detriment of OK! wasplainly satisfied. Lindsay J therefore decided that Hello! wasliable to OK! for the loss caused by the publication, which helater assessed at £1,033,156.The Court of Appeal reversed the judge’s decision on theground that the obligation of confidence for the benefit of OK!attached only to the photographs which the Douglasesauthorized them to publish. They did not have the benefit of anobligation of confidence in respect of any other photographs.
    • Their publication may have invaded a residual right of privacyretained by the Douglases but did not infringe any right of OK!In the researcher’s opinion Lindsay J was right. The point ofwhich one should never lose sight is that OK! had paid £1m forthe benefit of the obligation of confidence imposed upon allthose present at the wedding in respect of any photographs ofthe wedding. That was quite clear. Unless there is someconceptual or policy reason why they should not have thebenefit of that obligation, it cannot be seen why they were notentitled to enforce it. And there are no such reasons. Providedthat one keeps one’s eye firmly on the money and why it waspaid, the case is, as Lindsay J held, quite straightforward.It is first necessary to avoid being distracted by the concepts ofprivacy and personal information. In recent years, English lawhas adapted the action for breach of confidence to provide aremedy for the unauthorized disclosure of personalinformation. This development has been mediated by theanalogy of the right to privacy conferred by article 8 of theEuropean Convention on Human Rights and has required abalancing of that right against the right to freedom ofexpression conferred by article 10. But this appeal is notconcerned with the protection of privacy. Whatever may havebeen the position of the Douglases, who recovered damages foran invasion of their privacy, OK!’s claim is to protectcommercially confidential information and nothing more. Sothere is no need to be concerned with Convention rights. OK!has no claim to privacy under article 8 nor can it make a claimwhich is parasitic upon the Douglases’ right to privacy. Thefact that the information happens to have been about thepersonal life of the Douglases is irrelevant. It could have beeninformation about anything that a newspaper was willing topay for. What matters is that the Douglases, by the way theyarranged their wedding, were in a position to impose anobligation of confidence. They were in control of theinformation.The counsel for the respondent argued that the information inthe photographic images was not intended to be kept secret butto be published to the world by OK! and was so published atmuch the same time as the unauthorised photographs in Hello!.They also argued that once the approved photographs werepublished, the publication of the unauthorised photographswas not a breach of confidence and that the differencesbetween the photographs were “insufficiently significant to callfor legal protection”; “the unapproved pictures containednothing not included in the approved pictures”.
    • However, since a substantial amount of money was inloved inthe contract, the point of the transaction was that each picturewould be treated as a separate piece of information which OK!would have the exclusive right to publish. The picturespublished by OK! were put into the public domain and itwould have had to rely on the law of copyright, not the law ofconfidence, to prevent their reproduction. But no otherpictures were in the public domain and they did not enter thepublic domain merely because they resembled other pictureswhich hadThe judge found that despite the massive publicity whichaccompanied the wedding, it was nonetheless “private”. Healso found that the contract with OK Magazine was “a meansof reducing the risk of intrusion by unauthorised members ofthe media and hence of preserving the privacy of [thewedding].”The judge made some important observations about the law ofprivacy in dismissing the claimants’ claim in that respect. Themain reason he gave for dismissing that part of the claimants’action was that he doubted that UK law had a distinct right ofprivacy.The judge made some important observations about the law ofprivacy in dismissing the claimants’ claim in that respect. Themain reason he gave for dismissing that part of the claimants’action was that he doubted that UK law had a distinct right ofprivacy. He observed that UK law did not adequately protectthe European Convention right in this respect. He said thatParliament should step in to correct this deficiency, but that ifParliament failed to grasp the nettle the court would ultimatelyhave to do so. That would not happen until the court was faced(as it was not here) with a claim where breach of confidencedid not provide an adequate remedy.Apart from the privacy of the wedding, the other main issuebefore the court was the commercial benefit both to OKMagazine and to Douglas and Zeta-Jones of the exclusivecontract between them, and the “spoiling” publication ofunauthorised pictures by Hello! The significance of thejudgment is that the judge allowed the claimants to enforce thecontract against Hello! on the basis that the commercial effectof the contract was to create something akin to a trade secret.The judge found that Hello! was not acting in good faith, andthat it had clearly breached the Press Complaints CommissionCode since it was plain that the photographs that it purchasedwere obtained by subterfuge. Therefore their conscience was“tainted” which meant that the claimants were entitled to
    • enforce their equitable rights in the law of confidence againstHello!The judge held the defendants to be liable to the Claimantsunder the law as to confidence. An important step in hiscoming to that conclusion had been that, on balancing rights toconfidence against freedom of express for the purpose ofgranting or withholding relief, he had been required by statuteto pay regard to the Code of the Press ComplaintsCommission. According to the judge, The Hello! Defendantsbroke their own industry’s Code.The important thing for the claimants is that they weregranted their remedy. The common press practice of ’spoiling’exclusives of this sort now carries a clear commercial risk,since on the basis of this judgment such contracts will beupheld by the courts and enforced against anyone who is orought to be aware of them. This reduces the value of suchunauthorised photographs, and while further doubt has beencast on the existence of a distinct law of privacy, the protectionthat the law will grant against this sort of press activity hasbeen strengthened by this judgmentThe Douglases and OK magazine won their actions for breachof confidence against Hello! Magazine and its publishers,despite adjudications on some aspects of the claims in thedefendants’ favour. However, a complex series of questions fellto be determined by the judge on the appropriate orders forcosts based on his previous judgments both as to liability andquantum.The judge awarded the claimants 85% of their costs for thehearing on quantum and he ordered that these too should beassessed on the standard basis. He went on to order £120,000interest on the award of over £1 million made to OK in theaction.The Douglases and OK magazine won their actions for breachof confidence against Hello! magazine and its publishers,despite adjudications on some aspects of the claims in thedefendants’ favour. However, a complex series of questions fellto be determined by the judge on the appropriate orders forcosts based on his previous judgments both as to liability andquantum.The judge specifically took into account the judicial findings ofmisconduct against Hello!, referring to the “lamentableincident” whereby an “untruthful and misleading” letter hadbeen procured by those defendants. A number of harshcriticisms by the judge of the behaviour of Hello! in hisjudgment on the issue of costs clearly had an impact on hisvarious awards.
    • The judge considered that an award that merely looked at thenumber of issues won respectively by the claimants and thedefendants would not fairly reflect the realities of the case.Overall, the claimants had clearly won the liability hearing,and he considered therefore that the appropriate proportion oftheir costs which the defendants should pay was 75%. Heassessed this on the “standard” basis because he consideredthat the award of “indemnity” costs at an earlier hearingwhere the misconduct by Hello! was exposed constitutedsufficient punishmentConclusionThe laws in place to counter the menace of defamation areboth satisfactory and reasonable but in certain areas need to bemade more stringent so as to dissuade the celebrity crazymedia from wantonly publishing and broadcasting fraudulent,defamatory matter in order to make instant money. Thus theprotection of privacy and the prevention of press harassment isalso an important issue which needs to be redressed with thebetter implementation of laws already existing.Since no cause of action survives the defamed person’s death, itis clear that reputation is merely a transitory interest, which,by way of the defences available, has to be balanced against thepublic interest. Similarly fair comments protect the press whenexpressing their views on the actions of politicians, publicservants and others in the public eye, provided they are true.Defamation does have significance and a very strong one atthat as it protects a right which is essential to for the membersof society to co-exist. Obviously, if people do not respect thatright and are allowed to say and publish whatever they wantwithout substantiating it with an honest reason to believe, thenthere would be no harmony in society, insecurity would berampant and society would be in shambles. However thereexists the question of balancing the interest of both the partiesconcerned. This debate on how to achieve the correct balancebetween the individual’s interest in his good name and freedomof speech is a vital attribute of democratic society. However,while trying to resolve that debate via the development of thetort of defamation, the courts are hindered by the proceduralgame which characterises many libel actions, theunpredictability of the jury, and the absence of developed tortsof invasion of privacy and breach of confidence. Thus morechanges need to be taken which do away with the superfluousprocedural games thus leaving behind only the core of the tortto be implemented. However, the tort of defamation has anancient history and a capacity for survival which shall outlivemore topical concerns.
    • BibliographyBooks