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Defamation ipc

 Defamation in India

Defamation (also known as calumny, vilification, libel, slander, or traducement) is the oral or written communication of a false statement about another that unjustly harms their reputation and usually constitutes a tort or crime. In several countries, a true statement can also be considered defamation.

Under common law, to constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and must have been made to someone other than the person defamed. Some common law jurisdictions also distinguish between spoken defamation, called slander, and defamation in other media such as printed words or images, called libel. In the United States, false light laws protect against statements which are not technically false but are misleading.

Defamation under Indian law 

Section 499 of IPC deals with defamation. Defamation arises when a person makes or publishes any wrong or false statement or allegation or false imputation related to any person, by words or in oral or by signs or in any form it is said to defame that person.

Key ingredients 

Section 499 constrain of three essential ingredients for defamation under IPC

  • An allegation or imputation is made to harm the person against whom it is made

  • Such allegations or imputations must be made by In oral or in written or by words Sign or Visible representation

  • Publishing such allegations

Types of defamation



Libel defamation Published defamatory statement or a written statement is known as libel. It is usually found in printed media such as social media, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Slander defamation The defamatory statement committed verbally is known as Slander. It is usually found in public gathering, television etc.

Defamation as a Tort

Under civil law, defamation is focused on libel form. It is the publication of a statement that lowers the person’s reputation in the eyes of society.

A person can be sued to claim compensation if the following condition are satisfied:

  1. The statement must be defamatory.

  2. The statement must be referred to the plaintiff and no other.

  3. Such a statement must be published.

It is to be noted that defaming a dead person would not result in tort.

In DP Choudhary vs Kumari Manjulata, 1997, a local daily newspaper published a statement about Manjulata, who belonged to a distinguished family that she had eloped with a boy. Instead, she went to attend night class. She was ridiculed by others. The court held that the action was defamatory, and she was entitled to damages of Rs 10000 by way of general damages.


The law of defamation seeks to protect individual reputation. Its central problem is how to reconcile this purpose with the competing demands of free speech. Since both these interests are highly valued in our society, the former as perhaps the most dearly prized attribute of civilized human beings while the latter the very foundation of a democratic society. The apex court gave an interim time period of eight weeks to the petitioner within which they can challenge.


Meanwhile, other cases have also arisen especially in the political for a such as defamation case filed against Gogoi or the alleged arrest of Kiku Sharda. The decision brings finality to the case but raises certain questions in its wake. For instance, in a progressive economy like India, is resorting to penal provisions justified especially in an era, where reformative justice is replacing retributive justice. Besides the growing intolerance in the nation is another issue which might get a reason due to this judgement.



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