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Last Updated: Monday, 21 July, 2003, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Author loses India plagiarism case
Barbara Taylor Bradford
Bradford believed her ideas had been lifted
The Calcutta High Court has rejected a petition by British author Barbara Taylor Bradford over claims an Indian soap was based on her novel A Woman of Substance.

The author accused Sahara Television network of plagiarising her best-selling book for the 260-part soap Karishma, The Miracle of Destiny.

She had managed to get the serial pulled off air at an earlier court hearing but the successful appeal by the TV company gives the greenlight to it being screened.

Citing Bradford as a "spoke in the wheel", it ordered the author to pay the channel 150,000 rupees (2,031) for every week the series was delayed since 12 May, as well as costs.

Calcutta High Court said in its ruling that the lawyers of author Bradford failed to conclusively establish that Sahara Entertainment TV had lifted her novel.

Two senior judges said they have read a summary of Bradford's novel and found no evidence to suggest that Sahara had used her ideas to develop their mega serial Miracle of Destiny.


Bradford had said the series was based on her novel A Woman of Substance, which revolves around a destitute young girl who goes on to found a business empire.

But Judge AN Roy said: "In our opinion, this is just an idea. The plaintiff cannot have a monopoly on a woman making it from rags to riches."

The soap stars top Bollywood actress Karishma Kapoor and is looks to be one of the longest serials in India's entertainment television history.

The Indian Supreme Court had earlier issued an injunction on the broadcast until further arguments in the case could be heard, but Sahara successfully appealed.

The case was seen as a landmark because it is rare to sue Indian television for plagiarism, despite its reputation for copying ideas without permission.

Bradford has published 18 novels and sold more than 70 million copies around the world

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