US Court rejects the Defamation lawsuit filed against Al Jazeera Article writers by the Hindu American Foundation.
Hindu American Foundation’s defamation lawsuit against five defendants stemming from an Al-Jazeera article in the case of Hindu American Foundation v. Sunita Vishwanath was dismissed by a US court.
FACTS OF THE CASE :
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) brought a lawsuit against five defendants, alleging defamation, but the judge in the case dismissed it. Sunita Vishwanath and Raju Rajagopal, co-founders of Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), were named in the lawsuit along with Rasheed Ahmed, executive director of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), John Prabhudoss, chairman of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA), and Audrey Truschke, a professor at Rutgers University.
The lawsuit concerned two online pieces that were posted on aljazeera.com, a website run by the Al Jazeera Media Network. The stories dealt with federal COVID-19 relief funds and loans given to five US organizations that were reportedly connected to Indian Hindu nationalist parties. One of the organisations mentioned in the articles was HAF. HAF claimed the Defendants colluded to spread allegedly false and defamatory statements, and that the statements seriously harmed HAF, including by causing it to lose donations and suffer reputational harm.
Mi funding granted to “support hate,”with the title “Demand for US probe into Hindu right-wing groups getting COVID fund.” The HAF was referred to as “US-based front organizations” in the Second Narrative.It is important to remember that the defendants in the lawsuit were not the article’s publishers or authors, but rather individuals who were either quoted in the articles or who tweeted or reposted the content.
Due to lack of personal jurisdiction, lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and failure to establish a claim, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case. The Court granted the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the case after accepting their initial objections.
The court went on to say that it was not conceivable to assume that any of the defendants’ remarks were made with actual malice. The existence of readily accessible financial accounts is the sole claim of malice made by HAF. According to the court, these accusations were insufficient to support a claim.
According to District Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling, “..this court finds that HAF fails to show genuine malice and, hence, fails to raise a claim of defamation against all Defendants.”
The court added, “Some of Truschke’s allegations are perhaps verifiably incorrect. See e.g. (“Full disclosure that the HAF Board member in question [Rajiv Pandit] has been going after me, along with a growing list of people, in recent days.”). Yet, the Court stated that even if the statement were to be proven untrue, HAF’s defamation action would still fail since it is not false.
The court also pointed out that Viswanath’s assertion that HAF had “parent organizations” in India is blatantly untrue and can be independently verified. But, HAF’s defamation suit against Viswanath is unaffected by the likely falsity of this assertion, it claimed.
JUDGEMENT REVIEW BY SREYA MARY.