MALICIOUS FALSEHOOD

Falsehood means necessarily the violation of truth for the purpose of deceit. False means erroneous, untrue, the contrary of correct. The term false does not necessarily involve turpitude of mind. In the more important uses in jurisprudence the word force implies something more than a mere untruth, it is an untruth coupled with a lying intent, or of an intent to deceive or to perpetuate some treachery or fraud.

Falsehood also denotes lie. Malicious falsehood consists in making malicious statements concerning the plaintiff to some third person adversely affecting the pecuniary interests of the plaintiff. The tort of injurious falsehood is committed when a false statement is made, with malice to some person other than the plaintiff, as a result of which the plaintiff suffers damage.

The tort of making false statement by the defendant about the plaintiff to a third party as a result of which damage is caused to the plaintiff is called by Salmond the injurious falsehood. The same is called Slander of title by Winfield and stated, This is a false and malicious statement about a person his property or business which damages not necessarily his personal reputation but his title to property, or his business or generally his material interest.

A malicious statement by the defendant that the plaintiff’s business has been closed down would result in pecuniary loss to the plaintiff because the natural consequence of that is the loss of his custom. It is malicious falsehood for which the defendant would be liable.

Deceit and injurious falsehood

Deceit or fraud may be defined as a false representation made knowingly or without belief in its truth or recklessly or carelessly whether it be true or not. Injurious or malicious falsehood has a common point with the wrong of deceit and that is, the false statement made by the defendant, causes loss to the plaintiff. But these two wrongs are to be distinguished by the fact that in deceit, the statement is made to the plaintiff himself who suffers by acting upon it whereas in malicious falsehood, the false statement is made to the third party in a way that proves injurious to the plaintiffs pecuniary interest.

Defamation and Injurious falsehood

Injurious falsehood is akin to defamation because in this case, as in defamation, a statement made to a third person, causes damages to the plaintiff. However, the injurious falsehood and defamation are much different. In defamation, the plaintiffs interest affected is the reputation, in malicious or injurious falsehood, it is the pecuniary interest. Further, in defamation , malice in the sense of an evil motive is one of the essential ingredients of the wrong.

Essential Ingredients of Injurious falsehood

  1. False statement must be made to some other person than the palintff. -The defendant must have made the statement falsely.
  2. Malice- One of the essential elements of the tort of injurious falsehood is that the false statement must be maliciously published. This requirement will be deemed to be fulfilled if the defendant knows that the statement is false or if he is reckless.
  3. Damage – In the tort of injurious falsehood, the action will not lie where actual damage has not been caused. What is required to be proved is that a general loss of business or such loss as takes place in the ordinary course of things.

Form of the wrong of injurious falsehood

  1. Slander of title – There is a false and malicious statement about a person’s property or business and does not relate necessarily to his personal reputation, but to his title to property or his business or generally to his material interest.
  2. Slander of goods – Anything uttered by the defendant to a third person describing the goods of the plaintiff as of lower standard, defective and are not useful, such statement is a slander of goods, for example, allegation of defects in the goods manufactured by the plaintiff. The obvious effect of such statement is to depreciate the value of the plaintiff’s goods.

Aishwarya Says:

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.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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