Libel - An estimation of Damages

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Author : Pallavi Verma
Published on : February 22, 2015

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I am 3rd year student of B.A.LL.B.(Hons.) course at NLIU, Bhopal

Libel-An estimation of Damages

Defamation is publication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, group, business, product, government or nation a negative image and tends to lower the image in the estimation of the right-thinking members of society generally or tend to make them shun or avoid them.

In order to establish a claim of defamation, a claimant must prove that the defendant has published or is responsible for the publication of the defamatory material which is reasonably understood to refer to the claimant, either by name or by other means of identification.

There is two type of defamation on the basis of form of publication i.e., slander and libel.

Where the publication is in written or in some other permanent form then it is a libel.

Defamation is injury to the reputation of a person. The three essentials of defamation are:

1. The statement made must be defamatory
Defamatory statement is one which tends to injure the reputation of the plaintiff. Defamation is the publication of a statement which tends to lower a person in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally. Or which tends to make them shun or avoid that person. An imputation which exposes one to disgrace or humiliation, ridicule or contempt, is defamatory. Whether a statement is defamatory or not depends upon how the right thinking members of the society are likely to take it. If the likely effect of the statement is the injury to the plaintiff’s reputation, it is no defence to say that it was not intended to be defamatory. In “salmond on the law of torts” the following proposition on the nature of defamatory statement has been made- A defamatory statement is one which has a tendency to injure the reputation of the person to whom it refers; which tends, that is to say, to lower him in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally and in particularly to cause him to be regarded with feelings of hatred contempt, ridicule, fear, dislike or diesteem. In S.N.M Abdi v. Prafulla Kumar Mohanta, it was held that it is not necessary that the statement need not show a tendency of imputation to prejudice the plaintiff in the eye of everyone in the community. It is sufficient to suffice to establish that the publication tends to lower him in the eyes of substantial, respectable group, even though they are minority of the total community.

2. The statement must refer to the plaintiff:
In an action for defamation, the plaintiff has to prove that the statement of which he complains referred to him. It is immaterial that the defendant did not intend to defame the plaintiff. If the person to whom the statement was published could reasonably infer that the statement referred to the plaintiff, the defendant is liable. Acting in good faith and without intention to defame the plaintiff is no defence. Intention of the writer is quite immaterial in considering whether the alleged matter is defamatory or not.

3. The statement must be published:
Publication means making the defamatory statement known to some person other than the person defamed, and unless that is done, no civil action for defamation lies. Communication to the plaintiff himself is not enough because defamation is injury to the reputation and reputation consists in the estimation in which others hold him and not a man’s opinion of himself.

Libel: Definition and Analysis
Where the publication is in written or in some other permanent form then it is a libel.

Libel and slander are separate torts. At common law, a libel is a defamatory statement in permanent or semi-permanent form. The written word may be a libel, while the spoken word is, at common law, capable of amounting to slander. The practical difference between the two is that libel is actionable per se or without proof of damage. Slander, at common law, is actionable only if ‘special damage’ is shown.

Also libel is publication of defamatory matter in permanent form but slander is publication in temporary form. There is only one significant difference between libel and slander, which is that in the case of certain slanders a claimant, must also prove financial.

For historical reasons defamation takes the form of two separate torts, slander and libel, the former being generally more favourable to the plaintiff because it is actionable per se and injury to the reputation will be presumed. However, whether the case is one of libel or slander the following elements must be proved by the plaintiff:

1. The statement must be defamatory.

2. It must refer to the plaintiff, i.e. identify him.

3. It must be published, i.e. communicated to at least one person other than the plaintiff. In practice the statement (“imputation” is the technically correct description ) is almost always in the form of words but it can take the any form which conveys meaning, for example a picture, a cartoon, or a statue.

Nowadays the general view for distinction of libel from slander is that the test of libel is whether the publication is in a “permanent” form.

The consequence of this distinction is that now libel is treated as a crime.

Award of Damages and their control.
Law of torts is mainly court developed law and also has its origin in England. So, in case of libel the Court of appeal has always had the power to set aside a jury award of damages on the ground that it is excessive but in the past the power was rarely exercised and the standard at which the court would interfere was set very high, where the award was such that it was “divorced from reality”.

The very high award of damages in John v. Mirror Newspaper Ltd., which is a leading case, compelled the court to reiterate this policy of restraint and to develop the law on the guidance that should be given to juries. Now it is proper to inform the jury by way of guidance of general range of damages for non-pecuniary loss in personal injury cases, although the loss of a leg cannot of course be directly compared with the loss of a reputation. Furthermore, an award of damages for defamation may include elements of aggravated or exemplary damages, i.e., the damages cannot be precisely quantified in monetary terms but the claimant is entitled to a substantial award for wrong committed against him.

Whether or not it is strictly so as a matter of precedent, the maximum allowable damages for defamation (leaving aside exemplary damages and proved financial loss.) seems to be the maximum sum for non-pecuniary loss in personal injury cases . But a number of elements differentiate an award of damages for defamation from one for personal injury, which have to be born in mind when it is contended that it is unacceptable for a libel claimant to be awarded as much as the victim of a catastrophic personal injury: personal injury damages are nearly always awarded for negligence or breach of statutory duty rather than intentional wrongdoing; in global terms such damages have a far greater economic impact on the society than those for defamation; a defamatory claimant may well in the long term suffer serious financial loss from the attack on his reputation but is commonly unable to prove that (or what its amount may be) to the required legal standard; and there is an undoubted element of deterrence in defamation damages which requires that awards should be substantial and it is not necessarily correct to assume that the only purpose of tort law is compensation.

Analyses of relevant Landmark Cases
● New York Times Co. v. Sullivan 376 U.S. 254 (1964)
Ø Facts of the case:
On March 29, 1960, the New York Times carried a full-page advertisement titled "Heed Their Rising Voices", which solicited funds to defend Martin Luther King, Jr. against an Alabama perjury indictment. The advertisement stated that "They have arrested [King] seven times..." However, at that point he had only been arrested four times. Although the Montgomery Public Safety commissioner, L. B. Sullivan, was not named in the advertisement, Alabama law denied a public officer recovery of punitive damages in a libel action brought on account of a publication concerning their official conduct unless they first make a written demand for a public retraction and the defendant fails or refuses to comply, so Sullivan sent such a request. Sullivan did not respond but instead filed this "libel" suit a few days later. He also sued four black ministers mentioned in the ad, specifically Ralph Abernathy, S.S. Seay, Sr., Fred Shuttlesworth, and Joseph Lowery. Sullivan won $500,000 in an Alabama court judgment.

The Times did, however, subsequently publish a retraction of the advertisement upon the demand of Governor John Patterson of Alabama, who asserted that the publication charged him with "grave misconduct and ... improper actions and omissions as Governor of Alabama and ex-officio chairman of the State Board of Education of Alabama." When asked to explain why there had been a retraction for the Governor but not for Sullivan, the Secretary of the Times testified: "We did that because we didn't want anything that was published by the Times to be a reflection on the State of Alabama and the Governor was, as far as we could see, the embodiment of the State of Alabama and the proper representative of the state and, furthermore, we had by that time learned more of the actual facts which the ad purported to recite and, finally, the ad did refer to the action of the state authorities and the Board of Education presumably of which the Governor is the ex-officio chairman...." On the other hand, he testified that he did not think that "any of the language in there referred to Mr. Sullivan."

Ø Judgement:
It was held by the United States Supreme Court case which that in case of breach of the actual malice standard which has to be met before press reports about public officials or public figures can be considered to be defamation and libel.

Also following were the major points noted by the court in the judgement of this case:
* Safeguards for freedom of speech and of the press are required by the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution (Constitution) in a libel action brought by a public official against critics of his official conduct.

* Under Alabama law, a publication is libellous per se if the words tend to injure a person in his reputation or to bring him into public contempt. The jury must find that the words were published of and concerning the plaintiff. Once libel per se has been established, the defendant has no defences as to stated facts unless he can persuade the jury that they were true in all their particulars.

* Erroneous statement is inevitable in free debate and it must be protected if the freedoms of expression are to have the breathing space that the need to survive.

* The constitutional guarantees require a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with actual malice – that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.

* The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) holds that the Constitution delimits a State’s power to award damages for libel in actions brought by public officials against critics of their official conduct. In this case, the rule requiring proof of actual malice is applicable.

* The Defendant’s failure to retract the advertisement upon the Plaintiff’s demand is not adequate evidence of malice for constitutional purposes. Likewise, it is not adequate evidence of malice that the Defendant failed to check the advertisements accuracy against the news stories in the Defendant’s own files. Also, the evidence was constitutionally defective in another respect: it was incapable of supporting the jury’s finding that the allegedly libelous statements were made of and concerning the Plaintiff.

Concurrence. Justice Hugo Black (J. Black) argued that the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution do not merely “delimit” a State’s power to award damages, but completely prohibit a State from exercising such a power. The Defendant had an absolute, unconditional right to publish criticisms of the Montgomery agencies and officials.

Maharaj Libel Case -1862

Ø Facts of the case:
The case known as the "Maharaj Libel Case” was tried in 1862 in the Supreme Court, before Sir Joseph Arnould. The plaintiff Jadunathji Maharaj in the suit was the head of the Vallabhacharya sect of the Vaishnavas. The defendant was one Karsandas Mulji, who edited a newspaper in which he wrote a number of articles, exposing the abuses that, according to him, prevailed in the Vallabhacharya sect. It seems that something akin to what was known in Roman Law as Jus Primae Noctes, was claimed by or accorded to the religious heads of the sect; and their blind votaries, in their ignorance and credulity, sacrificed young women at the altar of a foul superstition. The articles created a great stir in the community, and threw the parasites of their temples, and the worshippers of the" holy" religious head, into consternation and fury. The hold of spiritual superstitions was so strong upon ignorant people in those days, that it demanded great courage and determination to expose and denounce practices which, if essentially lewd and repulsive, were sacrosanct in the eyes of the ignorant and orthodox classes. Karsandas braved public odium, and persisted in his course in the face of threats and persecution. The result was that the head priest, the subject of the attacks, sought legal redress. Jadunathji filed a plaint in the Supreme Court of Bombay on May 14, 1861, asking for damages of fifty thousand rupees.

Ø Judgement:
It was held by the court in this case that, the defendant is to be entitled to the costs of the issues found in his favour.

Sir Joseph Arnould, in giving judgment, said: —

In this case I shall make no apology for stating at some length, the reasons for my judgment.

In a matter of such general interest and importance the public have a right to be satisfied that

the minds of both members of the Court have been actively engaged in sifting the evidence and arriving at a pains-taking and conscientious decision. I have, besides, on one point not been able to come .to the same conclusion as the Chief Justice; and though that point does not materially affect the vital question in the case, and relates not so much to the law itself as to the application of the law, it is yet too important to be passed over in silence.

On the first issue the question that arises is this: Is the article complained of a libel; or is it so far justified by the occasion, i.e. by the whole of the circumstances preceding and accompanying its publication, as to be, though defamatory, not libellous. The doctrine of justifying occasion as deduced from the authorities is this: The essence of libel is malice. Prima facie every publication containing matter tending to defame or criminate another is held to be libellous; — that is — malice, the essence of libel, is legally inferred from the mere fact of publishing of another that which tends to criminate or defame him. But this prima facie inference may be repelled: it may be shown that the circumstances under which the publication took place were such as to preclude the legal inference of malice arising from the mere fact of publication and to constitute a justifying occasion for publishing that which tends to defame and criminate another.

If such a justifying occasion be made out, the only enquiry remaining, in order to ascertain whether a given publication be or be not libellous, is the enquiry whether the publication, on the face of it, shows what is legally called express malice; in other words, whether the virulence and bitterness of the language employed by the writer so far exceeds what the occasion warrants as to show that he was actuated by personal rancour, by a malignant and vindictive desire to criminate and defame. Unless this appears the publication though defamatory or criminatory is not libellous (see the whole current of authorities from Rex. vs. Baillie, 21 Howell's State Trials 10 (in A. D., 1778) down to Harrison vs. Bush 5 Ell and Blackb. and IG L. J. Q. B. 25 (A. D. 1855.)

As to what will constitute a justifying occasion the points principally to be attended are these: First, The publication must be bona fide, i. e., at the time of publication the writer must honestly and upon fair reasonable grounds believe that which he publishes to be substantially true. Secondly, the publication must be with regard to a subject matter in which the party publishing has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty. Thirdly, those to whom the publication is addressed must have an interest and a duty in some degree corresponding to his own.

● Chris Lance Cairns v. Lalit Modi [2012] EWHC 756 (QB)
Ø Facts of the case:
On 5th January 2010 the Defendant published on his official personal page of the social networking service Twitter the following words:

“Chris Cairns removed from the IPL auction list due to his past record in match fixing. This was done by the Governing Council today.”

On the same day a journalist from the online cricket magazine Cricinfo who had seen this Tweet asked the Defendant to confirm that the Claimant had been removed from the IPL auction list because of involvement in match-fixing. Mr Modi replied: “We have removed him from the list for alleged allegations [sic] as we have zero tolerance of this kind of stuff. The Governing Council has decided against keeping him on the list.”

The same day Cricinfo published on its website an article entitled “There is no place in the IPL for Chris Cairns”, in which the allegation was repeated.

On 8 January 2010, in response to a media enquiry, Mr Modi stated: “We know what we are doing and at the end of the day he is not going to be allowed to play and that’s it. Let him sue us, and then we will produce what we have to in court.”

Mr Cairns has sued Mr Modi for defamation in respect of the Tweet and the comment to Cricinfo. The defamatory meaning of the Tweet is obvious, namely that the Claimant had fixed cricket matches. The meaning of the statement to Cricinfo is not quite as clear because of the garbled reference to an “alleged allegation”. I accept the submission on behalf of the Defendant that the meaning of the statement to Cricinfo is that there were “strong grounds to suspect” that the Claimant was guilty of match fixing.

A pre-trial hearing took place on 10 November 2010. The Defendant had applied to strike out the claim on the principles set out in Jameel v Dow Jones and Co [2005] QB 946, namely that in view of the limited number of Twitter followers in this country which the Defendant had in January 2010 the publication within the jurisdiction did not amount to a real and substantial tort. That application was withdrawn before the hearing. Instead the Defendant applied for the ambit of publication to be determined as a preliminary issue prior to a potential Jameel application. Tugendhat J rejected the l application to order a preliminary issue. He subsequently ordered that the case should be tried by a judge sitting alone. Neither of these orders has been the subject of an appeal.

Ø Judgement:
While delivering the judgement Justice Bean held that Mr Modi has singularly failed to provide any reliable evidence that Mr Cairns was involved in match fixing or spot fixing, or even that there were strong grounds for suspicion that he was. Gupta, Sharma and TP Singh are not to be believed for the reasons; the hearsay evidence of Uniyal and Ablish is inconsistent and unreliable; and Karanveer Singh’s last-minute evidence falls well short of sustaining the Defendant’s case.

Even if applying a simple balance of probabilities test, the plea of justification would fail in both respects. The Claimant is accordingly entitled to damages.

For awarding Damages it was noted by the court that, in a well-known passage in John v MGN [1997] QB 586 Sir Thomas Bingham MR, giving the judgment of the Court, said:

“The successful plaintiff in a defamation action is entitled to recover, as general compensatory damages, such sum as will compensate him for the wrong he has suffered. That sum must compensate him for the damage to his reputation ; vindicate his good name ; and take account of the distress, hurt and humiliation which the defamatory publication has caused. In assessing the appropriate damages for injury to reputation the most important factor is the gravity of the libel ; the more closely it touches the plaintiff's personal integrity, professional reputation, honour, courage, loyalty and the core attributes of his personality, the more serious it is likely to be. The extent of publication is also very relevant: a libel published to millions has a greater potential to cause damage than a libel published to a handful of people. A successful plaintiff may properly look to an award of damages to vindicate his reputation: but the significance of this is much greater in a case where the defendant asserts the truth of the libel and refuses any retraction or apology than in a case where the defendant acknowledges the falsity of what was published and publicly expresses regret that the libellous publication took place. It is well established that compensatory damages may and should compensate for additional injury caused to the plaintiff's feelings by the defendant's conduct of the action, as when he persists in an unfounded assertion that the publication was true, or refuses to apologise, or cross-examines the plaintiff in a wounding or insulting way.”

It is obvious that an allegation that a professional cricketer is a match fixer goes to the core attributes of his personality and, if true, entirely destroys his reputation for integrity. The allegation is not as serious as one of involvement in terrorism or sexual offences (to take two examples from recent cases). But it is otherwise as serious an allegation as anyone could make against a professional sportsman.

The final course taking by the court in awarding damages was that, it noted that, the starting point for damages, before the aggravation to which I have just referred, is £ 75,000. After taking account of the aggravation I award the sum of £ 90,000. The Claimant is also entitled to an injunction, and I invite counsel to submit a draft in appropriate terms.

● Federal Aviation Administration Et Al. V. Cooper, 132 S. Ct. 1441 (U.S. 2012)
Ø Facts of the case:
Respondent Cooper, a licensed pilot, failed to disclose his human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosis to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at a time when the agency did not issue medical certificates, which are required to operate an aircraft, to persons with

HIV. Subsequently, respondent applied to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and received long-term disability benefits on the basis of his HIV status. Thereafter, he renewed his certificate with the FAA on several occasions, each time intentionally withholding information about his condition. The Department of Transportation(DOT), the FAA’s parent agency, launched a joint criminal investigation with the SSA to identify medically unfit individuals who had obtained FAA certifications. The DOT provided the SSA with the

names of licensed pilots, and the SSA, in turn, provided the DOT with a spreadsheet containing information on those pilots who had also received disability benefits. Respondent’s name appeared on the spreadsheet, and an investigation led to his admission that he had intentionally withheld information about his HIV status from the FAA. His pilot certificate was revoked, and he was indicted for making false statements to a Government agency. He pleaded guilty and was fined and sentenced to probation. He then filed suit, alleging that the FAA, DOT, and SSA violated the Privacy Act of 1974, which contains a detailed set of requirements for the management of records held by Executive Branch agencies. The Act allows an aggrieved individual to sue for “actual damages,” 5 U. S. C. §552a(g)(4)(A), if the Government intentionally or willfully violates the Act’s requirements in such a way as to adversely affect the individual. Specifically, respondent claimed that the unlawful disclosure to the DOT of his confidential medical information had caused him mental and emotional distress. The District Court concluded that the Government had violated the Act. But, finding the term “actual damages” ambiguous, the court relied on the sovereign immunity canon, which provides that sovereign immunity waivers must be strictly construed in the Government’s favor, to hold that the Act does not authorize the recovery of nonpecuniary damages. Reversing the District Court, the Ninth Circuit concluded that “actual damages” in the Act is not ambiguous and includes damages for mental and emotional distress.

Ø Judgement:
The U.S. Supreme Court reversed. The civil remedies provision of the Privacy Act provides that in the event of an "intentional or willful" refusal or failure to comply with the requirements, the United States is liable for "actual damages sustained by the individual as a result of the refusal or failure, but in no case shall a person entitled to recovery receive less than the sum of $1,000." The term "actual damages" is not defined. The Court ruled that although Congress had consented to be sued for damages under the Privacy Act, its use of the term "actual damages" did not waive sovereign immunity for nonpecuniary losses. The Court noted the canon of interpretation that a waiver of sovereign immunity must be "unequivocally expressed." It also found plausible that Congress intended "actual damages" to refer to "special damages," which are limited to actual pecuniary loss. It likewise noted Congress's failure to authorize "general damages" in the Privacy Act. The Court thus concluded that the Privacy Act "does not unequivocally authorize an award of damages for mental or emotional distress. Accordingly, the Act does not waive the Federal Government's sovereign immunity from liability for such harms."

The Supreme Court held that the Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize an award of damages for mental or emotional distress. Accordingly, the Act does not waive the Federal Government's sovereign immunity from the liability.

Justice Alito delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Ginsburg and Breyer joined. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

The Dissent notes the Majority hold that "actual damages" for the Privacy Act does only allows for pecuniary loss alone. The dissent also pointed out the Privacy Act was expressly designed to prevent agency conduct resulting in intangible harms to the individual, for privacy violations.

"After today, no matter how debilitating and substantial the resulting mental anguish, an individual harmed by a federal agency's intentional or wilful violation of the Privacy Act will be left without a remedy unless he or she is able to prove pecuniary harm. That is not the result Congress intended when it enacted an Act with the express purpose of safeguarding individual privacy against Government invasion. And it is not a result remotely suggested by anything in the text, structure, or history of the Act.”

Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and anr. v. Parshuram Babaram Sawant, 2011(113)BomLR3801
Ø Facts of the case:
Sometime in the month of June /July 2008 the infamous provident fund scam of Gaziabad District Court started surfacing. This scam became sensational as number of judges were involved, comprising higher judiciary. The public at large and the legal fraternity across the world watched the scam. The defendant no. 1 i.e. Times Now Channel started reporting all the developments relating to PF scam. Amongst the judges, allegedly involved was Justice P.K.Samantha (Retd.) Judge of the Calcutta High Court. On 10.9.2008, while the News relating to this scam was being telecast by the said channel, a photograph of the plaintiff was flashed as that of Justice P.K. Samantha. The said flashing of photograph created false impression amongst all the viewers in India and abroad that plaintiff was involved in PF Scam which is per se highly defamatory. Though the said channel stopped publishing the photograph of the plaintiff when the mistake was brought to their notice, no corrective or remedial steps to undo the damage caused to the reputation of the plaintiff were taken by the defendants on their own. This tortious act of the defendants has enormously and irreparably damaged the reputation of the plaintiff.

The plaintiff by his letter dated 15.9.2008 calling upon the defendant no. 1 to apologize publicly with damages of Rs. 50 crores. By its reply dated 25.9.2008 the defendant no. 1 tendered an apology informing that channel had published a corrigendum on 23.9.2008. It was also informed that showing the photograph of the plaintiff as an accused in PF scam was an unintentional error. But the reply was completely silent about the damages demanded by the plaintiff. Thus the defendant had taken a belated action which cannot undo the wrong admittedly committed. The plaintiff therefore by his letter dated 27.9.2008 communicated to the defendant no. 1 that his apology or corrective action was neither earliest nor sincere. Hence, the plaintiff demanded enhanced compensation of Rs. 100 crores. However, the defendant no. 1 sought a meeting with the plaintiff but failed to communicate him.

The plaintiff has stated that having a tremendous potential to the said channel can ruin the reputation of a person. The defendants have failed to exercise such care and caution. The tortious acts commissions of the defendants have caused mental anguish to the plaintiff. The acts have also damaged the reputation. Therefore, the defendant no. 2 being the Editor in chief is liable to compensate the plaintiff. Hence, the plaintiff has claimed Rs. 100 crores towards damages for causing loss and injury to the reputation.

Ø Judgment:
It was held by the court that, the photograph of the plaintiff was displayed while telecasting news relating to the "Provident Fund Scam" allegedly involving some Judge of the Calcutta High Court. On the instructions of the plaintiff, his Secretary Mr. Kamat had called the channel between 6.30 to 8.30 p.m. on the same day. Despite this telephone call, the channel did not take any corrective / clarificatory steps. Nothing was done for another 4-5 days and on 15/9/2008 the plaintiff addressed a letter to the channel which was received on 18/9/2008 as has been proved in the evidence. The clarificatory telecast was done for the first time on 23/9/2008 i.e. after 5 days from the receipt of the letter of the plaintiff. Mr. Chinoy, therefore, submitted that the defendants' behaviour was nothing short of a reckless attitude and, therefore, no case has been made out to exercise the discretion to reduce the amount of deposit or security in any manner.

Also will deciding this case the court took notice of the judgement given in the case of Malwa Strips Pvt. Ltd. (Supra), the Supreme Court proceeded on the assumption that although the word "shall" has been used in Order 41 Rule 1(3) of the Code, the same is not mandatory in character and thus, may be read as directory. However, in the case of Sihor Nagar Palika Bureau vs. Bhabhlubhai Virabhai and Co.MANU/SC/0315/2005 : (2005) 4 SCC 1, the Supreme Court on the power of the Appellate Court to stay the decree in first appeal stated thus, "Order 41 Rule 1(3) CPC provides that in an appeal against a decree for payment of amount the appellant shall, within the time permitted by the appellate court, deposit the amount disputed in the appeal or furnish such security in respect thereof as the court may think fit. Under Order 41 Rule 5(5), a deposit or security, as abovesaid, is a condition precedent for an order by the appellate court staying the execution of the decree. A bare reading of the two provisions referred to hereinabove, shows a discretion having been conferred on the appellate court to direct either deposit of the amount disputed in the appeal or to permit such security in respect thereof being furnished as the appellate court may think fit. Needless to say that the discretion is to be exercised judicially and not arbitrarily depending on the facts and circumstances of a given case. Ordinarily, execution of a money decree is not stayed inasmuch as satisfaction of money decree does not amount to irreparable injury and in the event of the appeal being allowed, the remedy of restitution is always available to the successful party. Still the power is there, of course a discretionary power, and is meant to be exercised in appropriate cases."

Hence it was decided by the court that, the application in terms of prayer clauses (a) and (b), subject to the condition that an amount of Rupees twenty is deposited by the applicants-defendants with the Registry of this court within 6 (six) weeks from today and a bank guarantee of a nationalized bank for the remaining amount of Rupees eighty is furnished to the Registry of this court within a period of 10 (ten) weeks from today. The deposited amount shall be invested in a fixed deposit initially for a period of one year with a nationalised bank.

We have seen the meaning of libel and its application under tort law, under many circumstances as mentioned above. Libel is a legal concept which refers to that type of defamation in which the publication of the defamatory statement is permanent in nature. It was seen it in majority of the case the primary factors taken note off by the court by fixing the liability of the defendant and calculating the damages to be awarded were: firstly, the gravity of the allegation. Secondly, the size and influence of the circulation. Thirdly, the effect of the publication. Fourthly, the extent and nature of the claimant's reputation. Fifthly, the behaviour of the defendant. Sixthly, the behaviour of the claimant.
W.V.H.Rogers, Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort, Sweet and Maxwell (Seventeenth edition) (2006)
A. Lakshminath and M. Sridhar, RamaswamyIyer’s The Law of Torts, LexisNexis Butterworths (Tenth edition) (2007)
Michael A. Jones, Textbook on Torts, Oxford University Press Inc. (Eighth edition) (reprinted 2002).
G. P. Singh, Ratanlal and Dhirajlal: The Law of Torts, Eastern Book Company (Twenty-fifth edition) (reprinted 2009).
David Price, Defamation Law, Procedure and Practice, Sweet and Maxwell. (Second Edition) (2001).

In Monson v. Tussauds [1894] 1 QB 671, a defamatory waxwork image of the plaintiff (place close to the famous ‘Chamber of Horrors’) would be treated as a potential libel.
[1997] Q.B. 586. The general damages element of the award was reduced from £ 75,000 to £ 25,000.