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    Yelp 32 Defamation

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    Q Define defamation what are the exception to the charge of defamation? Discuss. (2002) (2001) (1997)
    Q Define defamation what are the defences available to a charge of defamation. (2001) (2000) (1993) (2004/S)
    Q What is defamation? Explain fully various exception to the change of defamation. (2005/A)
    1. Introduction:
    The essence of the offence of defamation consists in its tendency to cause that description of pain which is felt by a person who know himself to be the object of the unfavourable sentiments of his fellow creature, and those inconveniences to which a person, who is the object of such unfavourable sentiments, is exposed. Chapter XXI of P.P.C relates to of defamation.
    2. Relevant Provisions:
    Following are the relevant provisions of P.P.C regarding the concerned topic.
    Section 499 to 502 of P.P.C
    3. Defamation U/Sec 499:
    Whoever by works, signs or by visible representations makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person, is said to defame that person.
    (I) Ingredients Of Sec. 499:
    The offence of defamation consists of following essential ingredients.
    (i) Making or Publishing any Imputation:
    There must be making or publishing of any imputation concerning any person, that is, communicated to some person other than the person to whom it is addressed, e. g . dictating a letter to a clerk is publication.
    It is immaterial whether the imputation is conveyed obliquely or indirectly or by way of question, exclamation or by irony.
    (ii) Concerning Any Person:
    The words must contain an imputation concerning some particular person or persons whose identity can be established.
    (iii) Mode of Such Imputation:
    Such imputation must have been made by either of following modes.
    a. Words:
    Such imputation may by mead by words either spoken or intended to be read.
    b. By Signs or Visible Representation:
    Imputation may be made or visible representations. The words “Visible representations” will
    Include every possible form of defamation which ingenuity can devise. For instance, a statute, chalk marks on a wall, signs or pictures may constitute a imputation.
    (iv) Intention, Knowledge or Belief to Harm the Reputation:
    It is not necessary to prove that the complainant actually suffered directly form the scandalous imputation alleged, it is sufficient to show that the accused intended to harm, or had reason to believe that the imputation made by him would harm the reputation of the complainant.
    Case Law
    P.L.D 2001 KAR115
    It was held that Mensrea or intention is essential clement of the offence of Defamation.
    a. Meaning of Harm:
    By harm is meant Imputation on a man’s character made and expressed to other so as to lower him in their estimation.
    (II) What Amounts To Defamation:
    Explanation appended to sec. 449 lay down that the following may amount to defamation.
    (i) Imputation to Dead Person:
    It may amount to defamation to Impute anything to a deceased person would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his or other near relatives.
    A prosecution may be maintained for defamation of a deceased person, but no suit for damages will lie.
    (ii) Imputation Concerning Company etc:
    It may amount to defamation to make an imputation concerning a company or an association or collection of persons as such.
    (iii) Alternative or ironical Imputation:
    An imputation in the form of an alterative or expressed ironically may amount to defamation. They even words of praise may be used in a defamation sense. But in such cases, the complainant or plaintiff has to prove that the words have not been understood in their primary sense but in their different and defamation sense.
    4. Exceptions Or Defences To Offences Of Defamation:
    Following are the exception or defences to the offence of defamation.
    (I) Imputation Of Truth Which Public Good Requires To Be Made:
    It is not defamation to impute anything which is true concerning any person, if it for the public and that he imputation should be made or published. But the privilege dose not justify publication in excess of the purpose or object which gives rise to it.
    (II) Public Conduct Of Public Servants:
    It is not defamation to express is good faith any opinion whatever respecting the conduct of a public servant in the discharge of the public functions or respecting his character, so for as his character appears in that conduct. It is because every subject has a right to comment on those acts of public men which concern him as a subjects of the realm.
    (III) Conduct Of Any PERSON Touching Ant Public Question:
    It is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion respecting the conduct of any person touching any public question and respecting his character so far as his character appears in that conduct.
    (IV) publication Of Reports Of Proceedings Of Courts:
    it is not defamation to publish a substantially true report of the proceeding of a court justice or of the result of any such proceedings.
    But the resort of judicial proceeding cannot be published to the court has prohibited the publication of any such proceeding or where the subject matter of the trial is obscene.
    (V) Merits Of Case Or Conduct Of Witnesses Etc.:
    The administration of justice is a matter of universal interest to the whole public. The judgment of the court, the verdict of the jury. The conduct of parties and of witness may all made subject of free comment. But the criticism should be made in good faith.
    Illustration:
    ‘A’ says ‘’I think “Z’ evidence n that trial is so contradictory that he must be stupid or dishonest,” ‘A’ is within this exception if he says in good faith.
    (VI) Merits Of Public Performance:
    It is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion respecting the merits of any performance which its another has submitted to the judgment of the public or respecting the character of the author so far as his character appears in such performance and no further. A performance may be submitted expressly or impliedly by the author. In other words, all kinds of performances in public may criticized provided the comments are made is good faith and fair.
    Illustration:
    An actor or a singer who appears on a public stage, submits his action or singing to the judgment of the public.
    (VII) Ensure Passed In Good Faith By person Having Lawful Authority Over Another:
    The exception allows a person under whose authority others have been placed, either by their own consent or by the law, to censure them is good faith, so far as regards the matter to which that authority relates.
    Illustration:
    A head of a department censuring in good faith those who are under these orders.
    (VIII) Accusation Preferred In Good Faith To Authorised Person:
    It is not defamation to prefer in good faith an accusation against any person to any of those who have lawful authority over that person with respect to subject- matter of accusation.
    Illustration:
    ‘A’ in good faith accuses ‘Z’ before a magistrate he is within this exception.
    (IX) Imputation By PERSON For Protection Of His Others’ s Interests:
    It is not defamation to make an imputation on the character of another if it made in good faith for the protection of the interest of the person making it, or of any other person or for public good.
    The rule of public policy on which it is based is that honest transaction of business and of social intercourse will otherwise be deprived of protection which they should enjoy.
    Illustration:
    ‘A’ a shopkeeper says to ‘B’ his manger “sell nothing to ‘Z’ unless he pays you ready money for I have no opinion of his honesty ‘A’ is within this exception.
    (X) Caution Intended For Good Of Person Or For Public Good:
    It is not defamation where a person gives caution in good faith to another for the good of that other, or of some person in whom that other is interested or for public good.
    Example
    This exception for instance will apply where one man warns another against employing a third person in his service, saying that he is a dishonest person. (1979 SCMP 545)
    5. Punishment For Defamation U/Sec 500:
    Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
    6. Conclusion:
    To conclude, I can say, that under the provisions of P.P.C, defamation has been made an offence without any reference to its tendency to cause acts of illegal violence. Imputation made in respect of any person amount to defamation for the purposes of sec. 499 P.P.C , only if such are published and the person publishing the same intends to harm or has reasons to believe that such imputation will harm the reputations of the person in respect of whom the imputation are published.



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  3. #2
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