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Bachchan v. India Abroad Publications Inc.

New York Supreme Court
154 Misc. 2d 228, 585 N.Y.S.2d 661 (1992)


Facts

India Abroad Publications Inc. (India Abroad) (defendant), a New York entity, operated a newswire that transmitted news stories to a news service in India. India Abroad transmitted a story that linked Ajitabh Bachchan (plaintiff), a resident of India, to a bank account allegedly related to a scandal in which a Swedish arms dealer had been charged with making kickbacks in order to obtain a contract with the Indian government. The story was written by a reporter in London and was transmitted by India Abroad to the service in India, where it was published in Indian newspapers, including two newspapers that were distributed in the United Kingdom. The story was also reported in a newspaper published by India Abroad in New York, and this newspaper was also printed and distributed by India Abroad’s subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Bachchan denied that he had any relationship to the bank account or to the Swedish arms contract. Several days after transmitting the original story, India Abroad transmitted Bachchan’s denial. Bachchan filed suit against India Abroad in London, seeking damages for libel. After trial, a jury awarded Bachchan 40,000 pounds in damages against India Abroad and the reporter who wrote the story. Bachchan then filed suit in New York state court, seeking to enforce the judgment by way of motion for summary judgment in lieu of complaint.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fingerhood, J.)

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