It’s A Defamation Free For All Down In India!

An online defamation lawsuit out of India is making international headlines.
An online defamation lawsuit out of India is making international headlines.

Discussion of international defamation cases here at the Kelly Warner law blog usually revolves around the United Kingdom and Canada. But today we’re taking a quick trip to another part of the Commonwealth, India.

A political defamation saga with online implications, the case between the Aam Aadmi Party and two media outlets – India TV and Media Sarkar – is making headlines. (Rob Ford who!?)

Sting Operation Video Results In Defamation Lawsuit

The defamation debacle started when Media Sarkar (think The Huffington Post of India) orchestrated a sting operation against the  AAP party. If you believe Media Sarkar, what resulted was a video showing an AAP member knowingly accepting “black money” as a campaign contribution.

Needless to say, Media Sarkar posted the footage online and India TV aired it.

WHAT IS BLACK MONEY?

“Black money” is money made on the black market. Since it’s not procured legally, it’s also not taxed. Black money is a big problem in India. It’s estimated that Indian citizens have a cumulative $2 billion in black money currently being held in Swiss bank accounts.

A he-said, she-said hubbub soon followed. Representatives from the AAP insisted the copy of the hidden camera video provided by the Election Commission was different from the one that aired on India TV. In other words, the AAP swears the media outlets altered the footage, and that the video did not “depict the AAP or its candidate indulging in any kind of illegal activities.”

So now the AAP is suing Media Sarkar and India TV. To make matters more complicated, the head of Media Sarkar filed a defamation counterclaim against the AAP over disparaging SMS comments made by party supporters.

Yes sir-e, a defamation stew is surely a’brewing down in India. We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one.

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