Civil Law

Defamation Laws

In India, Defamation can be viewed as a civil offence as well as criminal offence and may be defined as the writing, publication and speaking of a false statement which causes injury to reputation and good name for private interest.

The remedy for a civil defamation is covered under Law of Torts. In civil defamation, a victim can move high court or subordinate courts for seeking damages in the form of monetary compensation from accused. Section 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code provides an opportunity to the victim to file a criminal case for defamation against the accused. Punishment for the guilty person for criminal defamation is simple imprisonment which may extend to two years or fine or both. Under the criminal law, it is bailable, non-cognizable and compoundable offence.

Elements of Defamation and its exception.

Defamation statement must be in a spoken or written or published or visible manner and must be false and injured directly or indirectly to the reputation of an individual or his family members or caste and lowers the moral of the victim and statement is unprivileged statements.

Following Statements can't be considered as defamation
  • Any truth statement made in public interest
  • Any opinion given by the public in respect of conduct of a public servant in discharge of his functions, his character appears
  • Conduct of any person touching any public question
  • Publication of any proceedings of courts of justice including any trial of court and judgment
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