What are some defences avaliable in case a false case of defamation is filed againest me.

Dated: 2022-08-10 12:25:09

My neighbor has filed a false case of criminal defamation against me. I don't recollect making any defamatory statement.

Answers by Lawyers

Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code constitutes defamation as a crime. But there are exceptions provided with the section, which mentions the acts which do not constitute defamation. Some of them can also be used as a defence.

Read for the following provided defences and you might find little help for yourself.

Some common defences used are as below : -

Truth : - whenever someone represents or presents a fact which is true, concerning any person or group in India, then it does not amount to defamation. So, in case when someone intentionally publishes a defamatory statement, but which in fact is true, then it wont amount to defamation, and hence no defamation suit can be filed against the same person.

Privilege : - If the law has conferred some special privilege upon a person, then the same individual may be protected under the same privilege. Government officials and Judges are conferred with absolute privilege in discharge of the functions conferred upon them by the law. This can mean that the said statement was published in Parliamentary or Judicial proceedings. Journalists are also included under this exception, but the privilege is not absolute in nature but rather is limited which has to satisfy the test that it was not made with any intention.

Fair Comment : - Whenever someone expresses his opinions, it can constitute and exception for defamation. The opinion should be evident from its nature and should not mix with the facts. The court herein uses the perspective of the fair minded person, which means, that the opinion so expressed should be capable of being held by a ordinary man even though the reason behind it be illogical.

Good Faith : - if the a person has made the statement in good faith, then it is also one of the exceptions provided under Section 499 of the IPC. But the burden of proof as to determine the act was done in good faith lies upon the person who has made the comment or published the same.  

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