DEFINITION OF DEFAMATION
Defamation is said to done when a person creates a false statement against any of the other person or business due to which that defamation has brought some sought of hatred or damage to the reputation hampering of that business.
Uncertainty if there is a false statement stated due to which that individual causes loss in any terms of as like it causes to hinder the goodwill of business is damaged the speaker of those derogatory words has to face the legal consequences of that false declaration.
Defamation is of 2 types
Libel – When a person has posted some false facts in any kind of published media or newspaper about someone due to which there is loss of reputation it is called Libel.
E.g. – Avinash has published a false information in the daily newspaper about Shyam that he is a thief due to which it brought harm on reputation of Shyam by Avinash. On Investigation it is came to know that Avinash is rival of Shyam and to take revenge he has done this type of activity. Now Shyam will prosecuted under defamation of libel.
Slander – When a defamatory statement is made verbally to any 3rd party and not published anywhere is called slander.
E.g. – Rohit has said some false information about the health of Vinay in the front of his fiancée due to which his marriage has been called off .On investigation it is found that the information stated was false on which now Rohit will be held liable for defamation under slander.
- Tangible in Form
- Includes printing of information or posting pictures
- g. Prints in newspapers , social media Site
- Intangible in form
- Includes words which are spoken not published anywhere or any kind of gesture.
- g. Speeches at a public platform.
Essentials for a Defamation suit:
To file a suit for defamation against any person there needs to fulfilment of some points for filling of a suit for defamation.
Statement must be False and Defamatory
Statement given should be false. The person who has given the false statement has no document to prove that the statement made by him is true so then he has to face the legal consequences of it.
Statement must be published
The false statement should be printed. The false statement should be listened or see by some other person who is not related with that statement or as considered as third party. However, the person by having ill motive has sent any kind of mails or messages to the other co-workers, friends, or if that statement is posted on any kind of media, then definitely the said person would be held liable for defamation.
Statement should be referred with plaintiff
The false statement made should cause some type of any damage. Statements published due to which it makes an ideology or image in the minds of other persons to not get associated with the person who is being accused of any crime, having any kind of defamatory things which causes direct impact on the reputation of the business of that person.
Defences available in Defamation
Statement given should be correct
Statement given or published by the plaintiff, even if it is printed with an ill motive it will not bring an legal action as the said statement is true in nature.
Fair and bonafide comment
A fair and bonafide comment for protection of public at large is considered as to be a valid defence against the suit of for defamation. The necessities of a fair comment should be:
- That it is the said comment should be made on the account of a healthy criticism and not that comment should be made for a statement of fact which is recorded.
- The said comment should be done for the betterment for the public at large by which there interest is being get saved and un-hampered.
- The spoken comment should be bonafide and there should be not any hatred behind it.
There are always some statements which are always to be considered as a privileged statement. Moreover the closing verdict always given by the judiciary as they are the justice delivering body.
Privileged statement is moreover divided in two parts, i.e.
- Absolute Privilege
- Qualified Privilege
Absolute Privilege – Means there will be no action taken for any kind of defamatory statement made even though the said statement is false or made maliciously.
It applies to:
- Parliamentary Privilege
- Judicial proceeding’s
Qualified privilege – It is necessary that the statement must have been without malice. The defendant has to prove that statement was made on a privileged occasion fairly.
Defamation is an Offence U/S 499, 500, 501 and 502 in Indian Penal Code–
- Doing any kind of activity due to which it causes defamation against any person U/S 499 of Indian Penal Code is punishable offence U/S 500 of IPC.
- Publishing any kind of defamatory stuff is also a separate offence U/S 501 Indian Penal Code.
- The Apex Court has stated that if there is any kind of information which is of defamatory in nature and is printed in newspaper is been an offence U/S 499 of IPC, or printing of such material as if any person who is publishing that information knows it nature of defamatory publishes it he has incurred an offence U/S 501 of Indian Penal Code.
Selling or proposing to sale of any knowingly defamation item “substance containing defamatory information” it is a creation of offence U/S 502 Indian Penal Code.
Author: Pushkar Khanna,
Delhi Metropolitan Education affiliated to GGSIPU/ 2nd Year/ Law Student