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Thursday, 21 September, 2000, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Murdoch's Millionaire fight
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch has been personally summoned to court
A Bombay court has issued a summons to Rupert Murdoch over the format of the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

A petition has been filed against the quiz show, broadcast on Mr Murdoch's Star TV channel, accusing the programme makers of abetting gambling.

Chris Tarrant presents the original Millionaire quiz
The original format has been copied worldwide
The unnamed petitioner claims advertisements induce the public to gamble by asking them to answer questions correctly in order to win money, which, it is claimed, breaches India's gambling laws.

Summons have also been issued against the programme's producer Siddhart Basu and Star Plus senior executive Peter Mukherjee.

The programme, called in Hindi Kaun Banega Crorepati, has turned round the fortunes of the Star Plus channel.

Worldwide success

Viewers have the chance to win a 10 million rupee (153,000) jackpot and the show has attracted some of the biggest advertisers in India.

Amitabh Bachchan at the Millennium Dome
A chance to feature alongside the star
The highest amount won so far in the Indian game was five million rupees (77,000) scooped by Ramesh Dubey, a clothing store owner from New Delhi.

The quiz is based on the successful British original and is hosted by one of India's most popular film stars, Amitabh Bachchan.

London-based Celador Productions, which made the original, has licensed the programme to more than 30 countries worldwide, where it has proved immensely successful.

A spokeswoman told BBC News Online: "This is obviously a matter for the government and the broadcaster, Star TV.

"Although we support our licensee, we are unable to comment on issues of local law."

The show's set, music, question format and qualification process are set out in a 169-page guide that the creators provide with the licence.

In Russia it is called Oh Lucky Man! while in Spain, the title is 50 for 15, referring to the 50m pesetas prize money for the 15 questions it takes to win the grand prize.

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See also:

31 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Indian cinemas are Millionaire losers
11 Jul 00 | South Asia
Bachchan: India's comeback kid
19 Apr 00 | South Asia
Bollywood star lands Millionaire show
06 Jun 00 | South Asia
Bollywood stars turn to TV
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