Defamation :-

A defamation case has to meet the criteria of proving the defamatory or derogatory comments made towards a person was untruthful and had an outcome of some type of harm done to the victim’s life. Defamatory means are usually utilized in scandals, i.e. outrageous or abnormal actions of others (or singular) which integrate defamatory means to distort the victim’s existence as a means to excuse or distract another’s outrageous behavior/actions which are the ones who usually implement the early stages of such defamation. If a person goes through defamation and false lies are said, ie someone being a thief or has done something which was untrue and there is clear evidence of the innocent party’s reputation and life being harmed by the defamatory remark(s), that meets the criteria for a defamation case.

Punitive damages come in when the measurement of pain and suffering has been fully analyzed usually by pro bono specialists who will testify the defamatory remarks and hurt upon one’s reputation was completely unnecessary, untrue, and harmful. Defamation can also be in a form of taking a person’s character trait or ‘habit’ and utilizing it to be turned into an exaggerated and distorted dynamic that in turn could damage the person’s reputation so badly that professional and personally the person has their future in total ruins because of the defamation that turned into lies and exaggerations to purposely hurt the victim’s life and future. This is a civil tort.

At times, defamation gets confused with a covert level of harassment towards a person or particular party that has loose associations with hurt towards one’s reputation. Harassment is more subtle, per say, in nature and may increase with time as in defamation does not. Examples are taking a person’s issue or known weakness as in purposefully exacerbating another person’s character trait or ‘habit’ and chronically mentioning or reminding that person, either covertly or directly, of such. IE if a person who is believed to be a perfectionist (as in most Americans in the real world are today), there can be a covert form of harassment among comments such as how life is not perfect, in a ‘perfect’ world, or other remarks focusing on the concept of perfection. Covert harassment is pretty easy to identify when you witness a pattern of derogatory or repetitive remarks with a single identifier as in a trait. However, on a daily basis, this can easily turn into a form of bothersome harassment that utilizes another’s dynamic or trait and uses it in a belittling, humiliating, and upsetting way. No matter what the victim feels even if bothered, harassment does not hold any insight nor empathy towards the victim’s feelings, as to why it is called harassment. Sometimes harassment gets so bad that another form of abuse, such as gaslighting, may be integrated where if the harassment goes on for long enough, there may be a mode to completely distort of the victims’ reality through over zealous and exaggerations about their character trait that in turn, encourages the victim to have self doubt or internal shame as a direct result of the harassment. This can be and is a criminal tort.

I hope I shed some light, just a little bit. Sadly, these types of cases are difficult to prove with little evidence and the evidence is needed, it can be measured by people in the victim’s past who can testify the harm was done and a wide change in their behavior due to the defamation as a direct result of such a change or professionals who can usually identify such torts.

It is a headache to prove loss of reputation by an imputation which was ‘known to be false’.

Criminal defamation is more of an academic pursuit while civil defamation burns a deep hole in the plaintiff’s pocket (court fees and all) much before the defendant is even bothered by the suit.

Defamation has been much criticized and has come inches away from being held violative of A.19(1)a -Freedom of speech and expression.Each time it has been held constitutional by the Supreme Court so it is breathing alright.

But the very fact that it has been challenged on the grounds of constitutionality speaks volumes of how serious it is taken by the trial courts.

In short Don’t waste your time and money in this pursuit.

Practically, no. Defamation is ‘luxury litigation’ in India and hardly ever leads to any result. A Civil Suit for damages would entail Court fee proportionate to the damages sought as well as the lawyer’s fee but hardly ever lead to proof of defamation justifying damages. On one hand, the defendant falls back on the defence of truth and fair comment in good faith, and on the other hand, proving loss of reputation justifying and quantifying damages is no easy job for the plaintiff (unless of course you are a retired Judge, in which case you may get 100 Cr. for asking: See, P. B. Sawant J., Retd). Criminal case of defamation would be even more difficult to prove. And besides, the Judiciary does not appear all that keen to take up defamation cases, what with all those innumerable pending cases of heinous crimes.

Many people have got punishment for defamation. In India s.499, IPC is most exploited provision for avenging people. The highest defamation suit worth Rs. 100 crores was filed against Times Now news channel by one judge.

I think Times Now should be sued again. The woman reporter proclaimed sarabjit a misdemeanor without any decision by court. She was asking him again and again to apologize publicly. Sarabjit should sue the woman reporter as well as the news channel as their report has certainly harmed his reputation.

The person who’s reputation get affected directly or indirectly by words spoken writes or published that person can file a case of defamation in India. He can file a civil as well as criminal case for defamation in India. And criteria for filling suit of defamation is basically that his matter must come within the ambit of definition given under section 499 of Indian Penal Code.

Aishwarya Says:

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