Defamation is attacking another’s reputation by a false publication with an intension to bring the person into disrepute. It is made up of two words de and fame. It is an elusive concept and is limited in its varieties only by human inventiveness. In defamation, publication must be true and without the consent of the person whose reputation is defamed. Injury to the feelings is not defamation, there must be loss of reputation.
Elements of Defamation:-
Defamatory Statement: This statement must be defamatory which means the statement must enjoy the reputation of a person. If the statement does not enjoy the reputation of a person it would not amount to defamation.
Defamatory statement must be made towards the plaintiff . If the statement is made towards the other person except plaintiff, it would not amount to defamation.
Publication of Statement: Here it means that statement must come to be known by the third or other person. For eg:-
•if a person directly sends a defamatory letter to the plaintiff, then he cannot be made liable for defamation.
• if a person sends a defamatory message through WhatsApp in personal chat he cannot be made liable for defamation but if A person send a defamatory message through WhatsApp in group he would be liable for defamation.
There are two types of defamation-libel and Slander.
Libel is a defamatory statement which is in permanent form. It is always addressed to the eyes which means a statement which can be perceived by the eyes is known as Libel. For example: photograph, mail, messages, etc.
Slander is a defamatory statement which is in transit form. It is expressed by oral words. For example: audio, etc.
Exceptions of defamation
There are some cases in which tortious liability is excused:
1.Truth or justification: if a statement is truly expressed then person cannot be made liable for the Defamation. It means if statement is true or justified then there won’t be any tortious liability for defamation.
2. Fair comment: if a person is quoting a fair comment about somebody his tortious liability will be excused but the condition is that the Statement must be fair, if the comment is not fair or is unfair the liability of a person for defamation cannot be excused.
Comment means expression of opinion about somebody or something, it is not a statement of fact. Statement of fact is a different thing which exists.
3. Privilege: It means the special right provided to special personalities. Some person enjoys some special rights which include right to speech and expression like a member of Parliament has exclusive right to speak and express anything in the house during session of Parliament proceeding and if he speak something which might be defamatory it would have been spoken out of a domain of Parliament is not defamation that his tortious liability of defamation is excused.
Concluding, defamation is a tort resulting from an injury to one’s reputation. It is an act of harming one’s reputation by making any kind of false statement to a third or group of person. Defamation allows people to sue those who say or publish some defamatory statements.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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