What is Defamation?

Defamation is an oral or a written statement that hurts someone’s reputation. In India, Defamation can be viewed as a civil as well as a criminal offence and may be defined as the writing, publication and speaking of a fabricated statement which causes injury to the reputation.

Essentials of Defamation.

  • The statement must be defamatory and capable of injuring the reputation of the person in the minds of reasonable persons, it should not be far-fetched.

  • The person against whom the defamatory sentence is made, should be able to prove that the defamatory sentence was directed against him/her. Even if it is not direct, it should be against the person in ways which a reasonable person can understand

  • The defamatory statement must be published in written or oral (Libel or Slander)

Exceptions to Defamation.

  • Any true 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.

  • Conduct of any person touching any public question.

  • Publication of any proceedings of courts of justice including any trial of court and judgment.

“He who defames, get punished”

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Documents required for Defamation

  • Presenting documents, printed publications, email printouts, recordings of defamatory statement

  • Written statements of witnesses (third parties) who either heard or read the defamatory statements made by the defendant

  • Any proof you have that the defamatory statement fulfils the requirements for suing for defamation such as mental harassment, proof that you lost your job or your family does not talk to you anymore.

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