London, Nov 17: Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has won court approval to advance his Twitter libel case against former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi. Cairns had alleged that a Twitter message posted by Modi accusing him of match-fixing was libellous.
According to Stuff.co.nz, the Queen's bench division of the High Court in London has ruled that Cairns can pursue his Twitter libel case further because the courts should consider more factors than just how many UK Twitter users saw the post. Justice Tugendhat ruled that the number of people who saw the message was only one of a number of considerations in a defamation case.
"Cairns has resided in this jurisdiction in the past, and expects to return to live here again. There have been recent cases in which the court has declined to strike out claims based on a direct communication to a single publishee," Tugendhat said.
He also said that a real threat in a case such as this was that the statements at the centre of the libel claims might be more widely circulated.
"A claimant's primary concern in a libel action is vindication, not damages for what has been suffered in the past. So, the damage that has occurred before the action is brought may not give an indication of the importance of the claim," Tugendhat said.
Modi had rejected an application by Cairns to feature in the auction for this year's IPL tournament because of his dismissal from the rival Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008. He had later posted a message on Twitter alleging that the former Kiwi all-rounder was a match fixer. This was strongly denied by Cairns, saying that his sacking from ICL club Chandigarh Lions was due to fitness issues.