London: Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi has lost his appeal against the amount of damages he had been instructed to pay Chris Cairns earlier this year after losing a libel case against the former New Zealand allrounder.
On Wednesday in London, the Court of Appeal’s Lord Chief Justice Neuberger dismissed an appeal from Modi in his payment of £90,000 (approximately 74 lakhs) to Cairns, who sued him on charges of defamation. Neuberger rejected criticism of the judge’s reasoning and ruled that the amount was proportionate to the serious of Modi’s allegation and subsequent impact on Cairns.
In March, Cairns had been awarded damages of £90,000 after winning his libel case against Modi, who in a January 2010 tweet had referred to Cairns' alleged involvement in match-fixing as the reason for barring him from the IPL auction. Cairns, who played 62 Tests and 215 ODIs, had sued Modi in the UK's first Twitter libel case over the defamatory tweet saying the allegations threatened to reduce his cricketing achievements to "dust".
Cairns had been removed from the 2010 IPL auction list because of his alleged involvement with match-fixing during the Indian Cricket League, from which he was abruptly suspended in October 2008 “on disciplinary grounds”. The ICL’s executive board said the decision had been taken due to Cairns’ failure to disclose an ankle injury but in the London High Court, Modi’s legal team had argued that this was a cover up to hide illegal activity.
Modi presented several witnesses in his defence, including three former players of the Chandigarh Lions team and the anti-corruption officer of the ICL, Australian policeman Howard Beer.