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Defamation laws in India

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Defamation laws in India

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Defamation laws in India

  1. 1. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com SRISHAILAN S. RAO DEFAMATION LAWS IN INDIA
  2. 2. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com WHAT IS DEFAMATION? • Section 499: 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. • Under English law, it is of two types’ libel & slander. Libel is a representation made in a permanent form which means it must be published whether through writing, printing, picture, statue etc. Whereas slander is a representation made in oral or transit form for e.g. by spoken words or gestures.
  3. 3. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Basic elements of Defamation • First, the presence of defamatory content is required. Defamatory content is defined as one calculated to injure the reputation of another by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule. However, the test for such content is the ordinary man test where meaning of the content is considered to be what a common, ordinary man will comprehend it to be. • Second, the claimant should be identified in the defamatory statement. The content must be clearly addressing a particular person or a very small group for it to be defamation. General statements like “All lawyers are thieves or all politicians are corrupt” are too broad a classification and hence no particular lawyer or politician can consider it to be personally attributed to them. Therefore, such statements are not defamation. • Third, there must be a publication of the defamatory statement in either oral or written form. Unless the content is published – made available to someone other than the claimant, there can no defamation.
  4. 4. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Explanations to Section 499 • Explanation 1.—It may amount to defamation to impute anything to a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives. • Explanation 2.—It may amount to defamation to make an imputation concerning a company or an association or collection of persons as such. • Explanation 3.—An imputation in the form of an alternative or expressed ironically, may amount to defamation. • Explanation 4.—No imputation is said to harm a person’s reputation, unless that imputation directly or indirectly, in the estimation of others, lowers the moral or intellectual character of that person, or lowers the character of that person in respect of his caste or of his calling, or lowers the credit of that person, or causes it to be believed that the body of that person is in a loathsome state, or in a state generally considered as disgraceful.
  5. 5. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Exceptions • First Exception—Imputation of truth which public good requires to be made or published.—It is not defamation to impute anything which is true concerning any person, if it be for the public good that the imputation should be made or published. Whether or not it is for the public good is a question of fact. • Second Exception - Public conduct of public servants.—It is not defamation to express in a good faith any opinion whatever respecting the conduct of a public servant in the discharge of his public functions, or respecting his character, so far as his character appears in that conduct, and no further. • Third Exception - Publication of reports of proceedings of Courts.—It is not defamation to publish substantially true report of the proceedings of a Court of Justice, or of the result of any such proceedings
  6. 6. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Section 500 of IPC • Punishment for defamation.—Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
  7. 7. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Types of Defamation There are 2 types of Defamation: 1. Civil Defamation 2. Criminal Defamation •In India, defamation is both civil and criminal offence. The remedy for a civil defamation is covered under the Law of Torts. In a civil defamation case, a person who is defamed can move either high court or subordinate courts and seek damages in the form of monetary compensation from the accused. •Criminal defamation refers to intentionally harming someone’s reputation. If the intent is not clear, then the lawsuit becomes a civil defamation.
  8. 8. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Civil and Criminal Defamation DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRIMINAL & CIVIL DEFAMATION? 1. In Civil defamation, a mala fide intention to defame is not always necessary while a Criminal defamation must contain some deliberate malice or mala fide intention, to cause damage to reputation of someone. 2. In civil defamation, Court fees are required to be paid as per value of damages caused to reputation whereas court fees are NOT required at the level of a civil case in a criminal defamation case. 3. At the end of case, court punishes offender if defamation is proved in criminal case and awards damages to compensate loss to reputation if defamation is proved in civil defamation case.
  9. 9. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com FREEDOM OF SPEECH VS CRIMINAL DEFAMATION • Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution guarantees every citizen of India the freedom of free speech and expression. • Article 19(2) limits the freedom of speech with reasonable restrictions. Every citizen has a right to freedom of speech and expression unless this freedom goes against the following: 1. The sovereignty and integrity of India. 2. Security of the State. 3. Friendly relations with foreign states. 4. Public order, decency and morality. 5. Or is in relation to contempt of court, DEFAMATION, or incitement to an offence.
  10. 10. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com Basic requirements of a successful Defamtion suit • First, the presence of defamatory content is required. • Second, the claimant should be identified in the defamatory statement. • Third, there must be a publication of the defamatory statement in either oral or written form. • Under a civil suit, once all these conditions are satisfied, a defamation suit subsists, and the defendant has to take up a defense. If the defendant fails to do so satisfactorily, the defamation suit is successful. • Under a criminal suit, intention to defame is an important element. In the absence of intention, the knowledge that the publication was likely to defame or is defamatory becomes essential. All this is further subject to the normal standard of proof in criminal cases: beyond reasonable doubt.
  11. 11. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com CONCLUSION “He that filches from me my good name, Robs me of that, which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.” - William Shakespear
  12. 12. CHENNAI III Floor, ‘Creative Enclave’, 148-150, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. Tel: +91 - 44 - 24984821 BANGALORE Suite 920, Level 9, Raheja Towers, 26-27, M G Road, Bangalore - 560 001. Tel: +91 - 80 - 65462400 COIMBATORE #1533, Trichy Road, Coimbatore – 641018. Tel: +91 - 422 - 6552921 HYDERABAD Flat No. A-701, Brindavan Apartments, Niloufer Hospital Road, Redhills, Hyderabad - 500034. Tel: +91 - 40 - 60506009 COCHIN Suite 49, 8th Floor, Centre A, Alapatt Heritage Building, MG Road, Cochin – 682035 Tel: +91 - 484 - 6506216 EMAIL info@altacit.com WEBSITE www.altacit.com

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