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Defamation

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Defamation under Indian laws

Defamation means an act of spreading defamatory content which will lower the reputation of any individual or an entity when heard by an ordinary man.

Indian Penal Code states that, ‘whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person.’

What is Defamation laws framed for?

Defamation laws are framed to:

  • Strike a balance between the right of a person to is reputation and the right to freedom and expression and
  • To guard the reputation of an individual or entity.

Definition of ‘Slander’ and ‘Libel’

Defamation may either be verbal or written which are termed as Slander and Libel respectively.

  • • Slander means any defamatory statement made orally by using spoken words. It also includes sign language, gestures, and any inarticulate form of expressions which in any form has a way to injure the reputation.
  • • Libel refers to defamatory statement or remark in writing. It shall include cartoons, prints, pictures, sculptures, effigies, waxwork or any publication through radio, audio or video.

Difference between ‘Slander’ and ‘Libel’

The major difference between two kinds is that for libel form of defamation, a written proof is available and thus it is actionable per se. whereas for slander form of defamation, the aggrieved person has to provide the conclusive proof. The same difference applied while claiming for special damages (any material damage which can be estimated in monetary terms or loss of money).

Another common observation is that slander may be the result of an unintentional result occurring due to any provocation in the heat of any staged or caused whereas libel shows definite malafide intent with a purpose to cause harm to the reputation of an individual or entity.

What are the services Lawyerinc offers for Defamation?

Our services:

Our comprehensive range of end-to-end solutions includes following:

  • End to end services for filing complaint of Defamation.
  • We will find you the best Lawyer as per your case and facts.
  • We will prepare checklist of documents for filing Complaint.
  • Our lawyer will draft a Defamation Complaint on your behalf.
  • At every stage of the filing, till its finality, you shall be notified of the updates of the complaint.
  • We shall keep track of the lawyer assigned to you so that you face no troubles.
  • We shall get your Defamation Complaint filed without any issue.

*Any court fee, stamp duty and miscellaneous charges shall be payable extra.

Do contact us in case of any query related Defamation Complaint and much more. To avail any of the above-stated services, kindly establish contact by posting a query at our site.

Basic requirements of an attempt at defamation

Defamation has the following essential elements:

  • A defamatory content as a one which shall injure the reputation of another in eyes of an ordinary man.
  • The victim should be identified in the defamatory statement in eyes of an ordinary man.
  • Publication of such defamatory content or made available to a person other than the claimant who is the supposed victim.

Civil and Criminal remedies available to an act of Defamation

Remedies available are as per the relief sought, whether recovery of damages or punishment.

Civil Laws

  • These come from Law of Torts since no statutory provisions are present for civil remedies against Defamation
  • Here the victim seeks recovery in monetary form from the accused and upon establishing that the claimant is a victim, the Court may award compensation in form of damages based upon the proof of damages borne by the claimant.

Criminal Laws

  • Defamation is a criminal offense under Indian Penal Code described in Section 499 and punishment provided in Section 500.
  • Section 500 states that the punishment of Simple Imprisonment for a term up to 2 years with or without fine.
  • Defamation is bailable, compoundable, and non-cognizable.
  • Here the most important element is the intention of the accused which must be proved beyond doubt by the claimant. Intention also includes the knowledge that the content, statement or the remark in question shall cause harm to the reputation of the claimant.

Who has the onus to prove the wrong intention in a defamatory statement?

The claimant has the liability to prove that the statement is defamatory and is being referred to him. He has to prove that the intention of the accused was malafide. When asking for damages, the plaintiff has to prove that loss has been suffered due to such defamatory remark.

What defenses are available in a defamation case?

  • A true, honest and reliable statement published in the national interest or for the public good interest of the public is an absolute defense against defamation.
  • A public opinion with respect to the behavior or conduct of a public servant for the discharge of his duties or functions.
  • Any kind of publication of court proceedings.
  • Any conduct on any publicly asked question
  • Accord or assent of the person
  • Privilege i.e. an individual may be protected from claims of defamation due to any privilege he possesses through law. It is of two kinds: Absolute privilege and qualified privilege.
  • A fair comment is another exception.

How to file a case against defamation?

A criminal and civil case for defamation can be filed independently and or simultaneously.

Criminal Complaint against defamation

A complaint can be filed before the appropriate Magistrate as per the jurisdiction with a nominal fee.

Civil Suit against defamation

A civil suit can be filed to obtain damages from the accused as well as seeking an injunction to not continue with the [publication of defamatory material. Here the court fee to be paid shall be according to the quantum of relief being sought.

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