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Newspaper pays out with apology

Staff Reporter – 

info@indiannewslink.co.nz

It is first time in New Zealand that orders have been passed by the Human Rights Tribunal against an ethnic newspaper for breaching the privacy of an individual.

In the proceedings held under the Privacy Act 1993 before the Tribunal, the plaintiff had claimed that Kuk Punjabi Samachar had published material in one of its issues in 2013 that had breached her privacy.

The Newspaper had initially denied liability. Following a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner, investigation was held by it holding that Principle 8 of the Privacy Act had been breached by the newspaper.

However, the newspaper failed to settle the matter.

Proceedings lodged

Thereafter, the plaintiff, through her lawyer Gurbrinder Aulakh, lodged proceedings before the Tribunal. After the filing of pleadings and witness statements by the plaintiff and the defendant, the matter was set down for a fixed fixture hearing of four days starting from March 29, 2016.

At the hearing, at the request of the plaintiff and of the defendant, the Tribunal passed orders that the defendant is to publish an apology in three community newspapers known as Tasveer, Kuk Punjabi, and Punjab Express.

Irresponsible_Media__Gurbinder_Aulakh_536158791The newspaper has compensated the plaintiff for the harm caused to her by the breach. However, the compensation and terms have not been revealed.

Mr Aulakh said that it was a vindication for her client and a caution for the ethnic media to be more careful in acknowledging the privacy rights of the public.

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