Moot Proposition - RMLNLU

February 27 – March 1, 2015
Mustapha Mond & Big Brother Enterprises Vs. The Government of Farallon &Thomas
WRIT PETITION NO.53000 of 2210
Terra Gaia Vs. The Government of Farallon &Thomas Tomakin
WRIT PETITION NO.72521 of 2210
The Background
1. The year is 2210. The Republic of Farallon is the world’s most populous state with more
than 6 billion citizens. A conglomeration of earlier nations that comprised parts of the
erstwhile Asian and African continents, Farallon is a vibrant democracy, which is one of the
planet’s three great superpowers, along with Nuna and Rodinia. In the Great Conflict of 2015,
Peter Keating, a champion of non-violence and peaceful struggle, had played a part in the
creation of Farallon and is often considered in later years as one of the founding fathers of the
nation. His death in 2027 was nationally mourned and the anniversary is marked annually by
Farallon as Remembrance Day.
2. The official and national language of Farallon is English, and the literacy rate is 100%. All
residents of Farallon have access to television (known as Viewbicles) and newspapers (known
as Printicles). Farallon has a strong fourth estate, which plays its role as a regulator on
Government, and also an independent judiciary vested with the powers of judicial review. The
currency of Farallon is known as the Farthing (F).
3. At the time of its creation, after much debate and consideration, the new Republic of
Farallon had adopted the Constitution and the laws of the erstwhile Republic of India as its
governing documents and is also guided by the principles of common law that had found
favour with the courts of that country. The only provision of the Constitution that is repealed
is Article 141.
4. Farallon has a bicameral legislature, but with a strict two-party system. Farallon is
presently governed by the Equality League, a conservative political party of which Peter
Keating had been a member. Prime Minister Prometheus is in his second term in office and
brooks virtually no dissent within the League. In opposition is the Liberty Foundation, a
liberal group of diverse ideologies who believe in free speech, no Government control in
channels of communication and complete transparency. The capital of Farallon is Airstrip
One, which is the largest city as also the seat of Government.
The Players
5. Mustapha Mond is the Chairman and CEO of Big Brother Enterprises, a successful
multinational company registered in Farallon that has interests in Viewbicles, Printicles,
Readicles (publishing), Fallicles (sports broadcast) and Flickles (film production), which are
controlled through respective subsidiary companies. Mond resides in Airstrip One and is the
second richest citizen of the country.
6. Thomas Tomakin is a longstanding member of the Equality League and is at present the
Minister for Media in Prometheus’ government. He is many years senior to the Prime
Minister both in age and in the party, and harbours long time resentment against Prometheus,
feeling that he should be Prime Minister instead. In this, he has the active support of his old
friend Henry Foster, who is the Minister for Communications. Mond’s overtures to Tomakin
have been constantly rebuffed, as Mond’s brash and abrasive style is not to Tomakin’s liking
as is the fact that Mond is a close confidante and golfing partner of Prometheus.
7. Bernard Marx is a flickle producer contracted to Big Brother Enterprises to make 5 flickles
with a political message at the cost of the company. He has strong Liberty Foundation
sympathies and is a frequent donor to the party.
8. Terra Gaia, also a citizen of Farallon, runs the web portal BuyMe (www.buyme.far) which
is a popular site for the purchase and sale of goods by online users. Gaia gets a stock fee of F
100 for each transaction that takes place on her site. As of 2210, there are more than 1 billion
registered users of BuyMe. Nearly half of the transactions involve the trade of clips from
flickles and viewbicles which are either dated or otherwise difficult to access.
The Disputes
9. On the 4th of October, 2209 a weekly Farallon printicle The Convoy carried a cover story
entitled “Was Keating Cheating?”, penned by a prize-winning author which relied on Peter
Keating’s self-published collected works to reveal that Keating was both a racist and a sexual
pervert, whose practices had remained under the radar because of the media gags imposed by
the Equality League governments from time to time. The Convoy had a print circulation of
only 10,000 copies and so the story received little attention.
10.However, when Bernard Marx came to read the Convoy article, he realized that this could
form the basis for a no-holds barred biographical account of Peter Keating’s life, the narrative
thus far having been extremely hagiographic. Accordingly, after a hectic shooting schedule,
Marx’s production of The Keating Story was released in theatres in June 2210. The flickle
bore the banner of Big Brother Enterprises, and acknowledged The Convoy article in the
credits. Upon release across Farallon, The Keating Story rapidly rose to break all previous
box-office records for a biographical flickle. Reviews in leading printicles were positive and
praised the unapologetic warts-and-all recounting of Keating’s life. The Keating Story
received accolades at leading international Film Festivals in Nuna and Rodinia, and back
home in Farallon, it was quickly endorsed by the Liberty Foundation as evidence of the
duplicity of Equality League’s founders.
11.Thomas Tomakin saw in this the opportunity for one-upmanship against the Prime
Minister, and on 14th July 2210, the Ministry of Media issued a Government Order banning
the broadcast or sale in any format of The Keating Story, stating that the flickle was
“defamatory, divisive and against public interest”. On the same day, upon orders of Thomas
Tomakin, complaints of criminal defamation were registered by the Farallon police in Airstrip
One against Mustapha Mond and Big Brother Enterprises alleging that Peter Keating and the
Equality League had been defamed. Both the accused immediately initiated writ proceedings
[W.P.No.53000/2210] challenging the ban as well as seeking quashing of the criminal
proceedings inter alia on the ground that criminal defamation provisions are unconstitutional.
12.Sensing the gathering popularity of Tomakin within the League, and facing criticism that
he had been soft on The Keating Story because it had been financed by his friend Mond, the
Prime Minister had a meeting with Mustapha Mond on 16th July 2210.
13.On the 27th of July 2210, a story starts circulating on the internet containing an explicit
video of Thomas Tomakin’s married son John Tomakin engaged in homosexual activities
with Helmholtz Watson, a junior Professor in the University of Airstrip One. The video,
seemingly recorded on Watson’s cellular phone quickly goes viral, and clips from it are
broadcast on Big Brother Enterprises’ Viewbicles news channels, which repeatedly accuse
Minister Tomakin of not having taken action against his criminal son.
14.On the 28th of July 2210, Thomas Tomakin receives a dossier carrying details of the
transactions that took place over the previous month on www.buyme.far, which discloses the
sale of flickle and viewbicle videos of The Keating Story and the John Tomakin scandal.
Immediately, Thomas Tomakin’s Ministry issues an emergency Government Order of the
same day directing Internet Service Providers to block access to www.buyme.far and to the
local police to arrest Terra Gaia for violation of law.
15.However, despite repeated denials by Thomas Tomakin as to the veracity of the video
allegedly featuring his son or its contents, pressure from within the Equality League forces
him to resign from his post of Minister on 30th July, 2210. When contacted by members of the
press, both John Tomakin and Helmholtz Watson maintain silence and offer no comment.
16.Terra Gaia files a writ [W.P.No.72521/2210] against the Government of Farallon
challenging the Government Order of 28.7.2210 and also Sections 66A and 69A of the
Information Technology Act as being unconstitutional.
The Litigation
17.The Supreme Court of Farallon is concerned about these cases which have captured the
national imagination. On the administrative side, the Chief Justice of Farallon directs both
Writ Petitions to be taken up together on a particular date in 4 months time. In the meanwhile,
counsel appearing for the various parties are directed to file their written pleadings on the
issues framed as under:
a. The validity of the G.O. of 14.7.2210.
b. The validity of the criminal proceedings initiated against Mustapha Mond and Big Brother
c. The validity of the G.O. of 28.7.2210.
d. The constitutional validity of Sections 66A and 69A of the Information Technology Act.
18.Common counsels represent the Petitioners and Respondents respectively in both petitions.
Counsels for the Respondents have waived any contentions on maintainability of the
19.To allay any doubts, the Farallon Penal Code (erstwhile Indian Penal Code), the Criminal
Procedure Code and the Information Technology Act as they stood in the Republic of India in
2014 have remained unchanged.
Note- (a) Participants are advised to rely on arguments developed and composed from the
Common Law principles from other Common Law jurisdictions as well.
(b) No judgment of any court is binding upon the Supreme Court of Farallon, but they may
have persuasive value.
*This Moot proposition has been drafted by Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Advocate,
Supreme Court of India. Any attempt to contact the author shall lead to disqualification of the