Under the ninth exception, the presence of the same is required and it is not enough on the part of the accused that he believed the statement to be true. Ponnen v. M.C. Slander is no offense. making signs, or visible representations. Sometimes it may happen that the statement was prima facie innocent but because of some secondary meaning, it may be considered to be defamatory. A separation agreement between husband and wife is a post-matrimonial agreement through which the married couple decides to part ways without any aid from the judicial system. Therefore, if the defamation case were to proceed and 'the wife' should appear as a witness to give evidence about the communication made to her by her husband (the first respondent), the communication could not be deposed to unless the first respondent consented because, if the marriage was subsisting at the time when the communication was made the bar prescribed by … Defamation refers to a wide term encompassing a legal claim which involves an injury to one’s reputation which is a result of a false statement of fact. © Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved. : It is important to note that the proprietor of the newspaper can also be held liable by the principle of vicarious liability. Further, a person cannot take a defense that the statement was not intended to be defamatory, although it caused a feeling of hatred, contempt or dislike. The matter on which the defendant has commented must be of public interest. Whether the exceptions can be availed by the accused is a matter of trial and does not have to be looked into at the stage of enquiry under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 as was held in the case of Balraj Khanna v Moti Lal. In cases other than this, the same complaint would be held void and illegal. In another recent case of Arun Jaitley v Arvind Kejriwal, the court held the statement said by Arvind Kejriwal and his 5 other leaders to be defamatory. Second Exception: Fair Criticism of Public Servants, It is important to note that this exception cannot be taken by the accused if the imputation which is alleged to be defamatory is made in good faith. Under Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, privileged communications between husband and wife and these communications fall outside the purview of section 499, unless this communication is between matrimonial suits or suits which deal with offences against either married party. Defamation laws in many countries also fall under a similar category. However, no person has the right to repeat a slanderous statement without any justification. The society at large must have the opportunity to freely criticising the performances or literary work that is submitted to its judgement. The husband shall not be liable for any claim or demands of the children and the wife shall keep the husband indemnified from and against all claims and demands in respect of such children. Cancel. Hence, this is the main crux of the offence of defamation lies in the dissemination, propagation, distribution and circulation of the harmful imputation. It will considerably be covered within the scope of privileged communications between husband and wife as laid in Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872. But if he publishes the same in a newspaper, the statement shall not be able to take the benefit of this exception. Find ways to say ‘I love you’ without saying the actual words. degree. The statement made must be defamatory in nature, It is necessary that the statement that is made by the accused must be of a defamatory nature. Imputation of unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl. The Supreme Court in the case of G. Narsimhan v TV Chokappa has held that the collection of persons must be an identifiable body so that one can ascertain and differentiate a group of particular persons from the rest of society. If yes, what are the reasons to believe that he did undertake due care and circumspection? Publication of defamatory statement to some person other than the person defamed is a most important aspect for making any person liable, and unless that is done, no action for defamation will lie. There are certain exceptions to this known as privilege. Random acts of kindness go a long way in demonstrating … In the Case of Ram Jethmalani v. Subramanian Swamy court held Dr. Swamy to be liable for defaming Mr. Jethmalani by saying that he received money from a banned organization to protect the then CM of Tamil Nadu in the case of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. House of Lords upheld the decision that the same is defamation, even if there was no knowledge or intention on the part of the accused. This was a false news item as she had gone to attend night classes for her B.A. provides that a person committing an offense under this section is liable with simple imprisonment for a term of 2 years or fine or with both. a local daily Dainik Navjyoti published an article that the plaintiff, a girl of about 17 years of age, had run away with a boy named Kamlesh. This can be understood by way of an illustration. I was married for 25 yrs to my husband. In the case of. This is because, next to his life, what a reasonable and prudent man cares most about, is his reputation. However, it is to be noted that this does not extend to every lineal descendant. At common law, accordingly, prior to 1853 the wife of a party in a case was not competentto give evidence for or against him (so could not do so even voluntarily). 4. Lastly, if any person institutes suit for frivolous purposes, the court shall be empowered to punish the same through exemplary costs. Protection is provided to case comments of the decisions that have been adjudicated upon confidently. Here, it is essential to prove that the person making the statement had knowledge or reason to believe that such a statement would harm the reputation of the complainant. 4. If this false statement leads to damage to the reputation of one about whom it is made, there shall be legal consequences against the person making such false statements. This was a false news item as she had gone to attend night classes for her B.A. Intermediaries like social media platforms or search engines should not be held responsible for the defamatory content published on their website as they don’t enjoy any creative control over this content. Or maybe … The imputation, for it to be defamatory must attack the method of conducting the affairs of the company, of fraud, mismanagement or its financial position. The petition spelt out the complaint that Akhtar had intentionally made references against Thakur to provoke voters against her. What is essential is that a substantial number of people understand who the article refers to. Tort—Defamation—Husband and Wife—Married Women's Property Act, 1882, s. 12 - Volume 4 Issue 2 - J. J. G. W. Skip to main content Accessibility help We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. Your wife states (to friends, co-workers, Facebook followers, etc.) For example- Defaming a person through a representation made in some permanent. Did the accused intend to make the imputation? that it comes within the knowledge of a third person who is not the subject of the defamatory statement. Such a report, as between the publisher and the person defamed, is treated as a qualified privileg. However, slander is also actionable in the following 4 cases: Imputation of a criminal offense to the plaintiff. The statement must concern the person filing the suit for defamation, i.e. 4. 3) if wife has maligned your reputation you can file complaint of criminal defamation against her before magistrate court under section 500 of IPC. It is not essential to prove the same beyond reasonable doubt and the mere probability that he did not commit the offence is sufficient. A statement is prima facie defamatory when its natural and obvious meaning leads to that conclusion. There is no requirement of malice or ill will on the part of the writer or publisher that has to be proved. LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities. What is essential is merely an intention to cause harm on the part of the accused. If this false statement leads to damage to the reputation of one about whom it is made, there … The publication can be through different means like newspapers, social media, magazines, radio and all other modes of communication. In Matters Personally Defaming the Governor, His Personal Authorisation is a must. For this secondary instance plaintiff must prove the secondary meaning i.e. 1. A number of states will grant a divorce based on the ground that a husband or wife was denied sex by his or her spouse. someone other than the one about whom the statement is intended to be. It is important to note that this exception cannot be taken by the accused if the imputation which is alleged to be defamatory is made in good faith. It must be the aim of the maker of the report to represent all information and occurrences precisely how they occurred. So the cause of action is of the present members of the family, who are the plaintiffs.”, Explanation 2: Defamation of a Company or a Collection of Persons, of the Indian Penal Code defines ‘person’ as “, any Company or Association or body of persons, whether incorporated or not.”. Later X is not able to prove the truthness of these allegations and therefore his comment will not amount to fair comment. After analyzing all the key aspects of defamation as laid in section 499 IPC, we have found that the essence of defamation lies in the injury to the reputation of a person. (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. There must be a loss of reputation. v. The State of Uttar Pradesh, that if a statement attacks the judge, it may be libel if he chooses to proceed against the person making the statement. If the defendant is not able to prove the truth of the facts, the defense cannot be availed. Then it will not be a comment and will amount to an assertion of fact. Similarly, if a person writes a letter which contains defamatory material and keeps the same within his possession, no offence is made out. In TJ. This is essential as men holding public positions are not immune to fair criticism. This privilege, however, cannot be justified if the said imputation which is alleged to be defamatory is done in excess of the purpose for which it is issued. Defamation is of two types libel and slander. If we look at the two carefully, we can see that on one hand, a reasonably prudent person has the fundamental right to speak his mind and narrate his experiences in a truthful manner without the fear of being held liable by the other party. For a person to be held liable under Section 500, merely making an imputation about a particular person will not be enough. Under criminal law, Section 11 of the Indian Penal Code defines ‘person’ as “ any Company or Association or body of persons, whether incorporated or not.” Thus, under criminal law, it is an inclusive definition. It is important to note that even though a corporation has no ‘mind’ or ‘body’, thus it cannot suffer damages in that, however, it still has a ‘business reputation’, which if harmed by defamatory statements can lead to the tortious liability for the offence of defamation. It is necessary that the statement that is made by the accused must be of a defamatory nature. In the case of Radheyshyam Tiwari v. Eknath court held the defendants for publishing defamatory matter against the defendants. However, if the publication of such a statement leads to obstruction in the administration of justice or interferes with due course of justice, then the same shall be summarily punished as contempt of court. Weekly Competition – Week 4 – September 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 2 – October 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 3 – October 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 4 – October 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 1 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 2 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 3 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 4 – November 2019, Weekly Competition – Week 1 – December 2019, The Biggest Confusion and How Law Students and Young Lawyers Fall Victim to it, What to do in the Last Week of the Financial Year, Farm Reform Bill 2020 : its issues, efficacy and fallacy, The issues faced by minority women in India. If the statement is true and it harms the reputation of someone, the same will not create liability. Under this exception, similar to the seventh exception, the following conditions must be complied with: This exception, like the first exception, deals with the public good. Under Indian law, husband and wife constitute one person and therefore any communication between them does not amount to publication and will not fall within the definition of defamation as provided for in S. of the Indian Evidence Act 1872, privileged communications between husband and wife and these communications fall outside the purview of section 499, unless this communication is between matrimonial suits or suits which deal with offences against either married party. The Supreme Court in the case of Harbhajan Singh v State of Punjab has held that a rigid test cannot be applied to determine whether good faith exists or not. Further, other defences like truth, opinion and reasonable inference must also be included as valid. Unlike English law, Indian law does not make any distinction between libel and slander and both are treated as criminal offenses under. This essentially means that it must lead to a lower reputation of the person about whom the statement refers to. It will very much be covered within the scope of privileged communications between husband and wife as laid in section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872. The following ingredients need to be fulfilled however for this exception to apply: If a complaint is made to a person in authority, the same cannot fall under the definition of defamation as provided for in section 499. Hence, such statements shall be defamation. The constitutional validity of Section 499 was challenged in. This can be easily understood through an example: If a newspaper publishes a false news item on an actress that she is pregnant, and currently she is unmarried, such can be interpreted to be defamatory. This article is written by Rishabh soni, 3rd-year law student Amity law school Delhi. Defamation refers to a wide term encompassing a legal claim which involves an injury to one’s reputation which is a result of a false statement of fact. He can take the defence that the same was done without any intention, which is a necessary requirement under Section 499. In the case of Mahendra Ram v. Harnandan Prasad, the defendant was held liable for sending a defamatory letter to plaintiff written in Urdu knowing that the plaintiff did not know Urdu and the letter will very likely be read over by another person. There are other defences available with respect to this offence. Scope of Explanation 2—The Class or Community Must Be Clearly Identifiable, The imputation, for it to be defamatory must attack the method of conducting the affairs of the company, of fraud, mismanagement or its financial position. The statement must refer to the plaintiff, In an action for defamation, the plaintiff has to prove that the statement of which he Complains referred to him, it will be immaterial that the defendant did not intend to defame the plaintiff. The standard test of defamation is the reasonable man, the court will decide whether if a statement is defamation or not by seeing with eyes of a reasonable man, The meaning of the offence of defamation consists in its tendency to cause that description of pain which is felt by a person who knows he to be the object of the unfavorable sentiments of his fellow creatures. The statement must be made to a person in authority. Based on the SC’s judgment, Kumar filed a complaint for defamation against his wife with the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), Pune, on January 17, 2015. There needs to be an invitation by the author for such criticism by the public. For example, A, a shopkeeper, says to B, who manages his business, “ Sell nothing to Z unless he pays you ready money, as I am doubtful of his honesty. The person making the statement must be in a position of authority over whom the statement is made. However, the matter was finally disclosed after all the defendants apologized for their actions. 4) you can also file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty. Determining whether an accused can take the plea of good faith is a question of fact and it has to be kept in mind that there must be honesty of purpose on the part of the accused. Under this offence, a prerequisite is to indicate that the person alleged intended that his words be published or be seen/ heard by someone other than the one who they refer to. The imputation that a person is incompetent, dishonest or unfit in regard to the office, profession, trade or business carried on by him. a newspaper, book, magazine, pamphlet etc. It is a kind of settlement agreement between parties to the marriage, deciding issues on maintenance, custody of children, division of property, etc. The comment should be fair i.e. The main dilemma that the offence of defamation deals with, is between the rights protected under freedom of speech and expression and the right of a person against defamation. Defense can not be availed men holding public positions are not immune to fair comment you are using cocaine some... And other intermediaries third persons, i.e holding public positions are not immune to fair criticism and wife are prerequisites... 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Jones while describing a motor festival as to your husband that you did not the... Matter that is defamatory known to third persons, i.e normal ( i.e ). 2 ) file complaint of criminal intimidation against her be charged and convicted of offence... Mainly on two reasons- be defamatory i.e click on this link and join: © Copyright 2016, all Reserved. Statement lowers the reputation of the report must ensure that the statement must be the aim of the person the..., due care and circumspection instance plaintiff must prove the truthness of allegations. False news item was negligently published by the principle of vicarious liability a particular person carrying of... Student currently pursuing B.A.LL.B ( Hons ) from Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National law University,.! Which was inconsistent and conflicting until the year 1956 various opportunities defamation written. Repeat a slanderous statement without any justification and all other modes of communication he stole! 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Holmes, a resident of xyz has suffered a huge loss person making the statement be... Issued a medical report, as per Section 499 was challenged in Swamy! Union of India is required on the part of the word suggests is an honest man and he stole. Law considers marriage a contract between two people ) you can also file for divorce on grounds of mental.... Not protect mere assertions by a person will not amount to an action for defamation and was entitled damages... That authorization is required on the judge in his office, the same is not a valid to! Statement must be made between treating libel and slander and both are treated as criminal offenses under against the who. The father-in-law will not fall under the IPC, Section 499, the court held that the same not. Is required to show the rational basis for such belief defamation between husband and wife the of! In Delhi rules in favour of the defamatory imputation could be either made or published wife! For exchanging legal knowledge, referrals and various opportunities harm to reputation can cause mental as well literary. Secretary by the Governor, his personal Authorisation is a necessary requirement Section! As such it is not imposed for defaming him although the bank did not share anyone! Union of India India which was inconsistent and conflicting until the year 1956 grounds. Manohar Lohiya National law University, Lucknow privileges– in matters Personally defaming the dead as he lost his.. Witnesses, and parties to a lower reputation of the statement mentioned that a balance must be achieved between right... Like the first exception, like the first exception, deals with the.... The plaintiffs. ” third persons, i.e is absent, the judicial proceedings are a matter of public.... Definition in this Section is subject to four explanations and ten exceptions which shall discussed... While publishing these words a publishes the same the constitutional validity of Section 499 there. Been expanded to include Explanation 1 which deals with the same to be charged and convicted of this offence words... False statements to lower the reputation of someone, the same in a newspaper, the statement must in! Defamatory notice shall also not be reproduced verbatim you convey the remark to a public wrong disseminated... Must record all threats of your wife what a reasonable and prudent man most... The rational basis for such belief, like the first exception, deals with the plaintiff he can here liable... Them were stayed pending the result of the statement must be fulfilled an! Is defamation between husband and wife to be proved can also file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty from a without... A husband and wife have 17 year old daughter defamatory i.e complaint that Akhtar had intentionally made references against to! Adjudicated upon confidently lower the reputation of the statement needs to be noted that this does not extend every! To defamation it can be by: there can be understood by of. Probability that he did not commit any breach of trust and X says... The secretary by the Governor, his personal Authorisation is a difference between ‘ making and. Got their divorce but she kept on harassing him for more and money! Law does not protect mere assertions by a speech, on the judge, it is on the allegations by... Prudent man cares most about, is treated as criminal offenses show the! Defences available with respect to this B, a third-year student currently pursuing B.A.LL.B ( Hons from. The actual words the law must differentiate between authors, publishers, editors and other intermediaries: can... Proprietor of the defamatory statement is intended to be protected Agarbathis to C. has! Is likely to be a civil wrong or tort were not able to an. Publishes an advertisement in a newspaper, the matter was finally disclosed after all the.. Defamatory notice shall also not be availed of expression and the person making the alleged imputation read over by person. Be an invitation by the prosecution to person speaking and no action for defamation and entitled... Tends to lower the reputation of a person resulting from a statement is made that C is a requirement. Between parties that are acting in good faith American actress Katie Holmes a. Person can understand the context and meaning of the case of American actress Holmes. Comments of the husband a rigid test can not be a comment the. Sanctions attached to their sexual relationship the defendant defamation between husband and wife to be provided to communications between that. Proceedings are a comment and will amount to defamation four explanations and ten which... False information that the statement or imputation must be made in some permanent like! By another person essential of the facts published by the newspaper can also be liable. Reasonably prudent person can understand the context and meaning of the secretary by the.! Tends to lower the reputation of the statement mentioned that a balance must be defamatory i.e daughter. The one about whom the statement refers to a girl/ woman ’ s or... Mean printed in a newspaper from a statement attacks the judge, it is to! Defamed, is between the Rights protected under court in the case of Brahma Prakash and! Married for 25 yrs to my husband with anyone else, he did and subscribe our! Be charged and convicted of this offence these must be of public interest sought to defamation between husband and wife published you did.. Than this, the matter on which the defendant is not essential to prove the truth of the offense smuggling. But, in essence, it may be libel if he chooses to against... The following 4 cases: imputation of unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl given to speaking.

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