Defamation is the act of the accused who has committed with an intention to harm the reputation of the person. If the act has been committed vide spoken words or gestures, then such Defamation is known as Libel whereas the Defamation has been done by mode of printing or writing, then it is known as Slander.
Defamation in English law is of civil nature as well as of criminal nature, and Libel has been considered a Criminal Offence, whereas Slander has been considered a civil offense. But in India, Libel and Slander both are offenses. In India, the accused will be framed under Section 499 of IPC in order to make any derogatory remark with an intention to harm the reputation of the person.
Although in India, there is a provision of civil Defamation, wherein the complainant can seek monetary damages for a defamatory act committed by the accused. There are three essentials to constitute Defamation as a civil wrong in India:
The statement which has been made is defamatory in nature.
The statement must be made in relation to the plaintiff, and the stamen must be published.
In Criminal Law, i.e., under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, the Defamation is under the ambit of compoundable offense, i.e., if the complainant and the accused enter into the settlement or any sort of compromise, then in such cases, the complaint and trial against the accused can be quashed.
Under Section 499, whoever does any act by words either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm or knowing that such act will result into harm to the reputation of that person .
Even making statements that will harm a deceased person's reputation amount to a deceased person. But there are certain exceptions wherein some acts will not amount to Defamation if they fall under the ambit of the below-mentioned exceptions:
IMPUTATION OF TRUTH WHICH PUBLIC GOOD REQUIRES TO BE MADE OR PUBLISHED
If any true statements are made with the intention for the Good of the public at large, then such statements will not be an amount of Defamation.
PUBLIC CONDUCT OF PUBLIC SERVANTS.
If any statement made by the public servant during the course of discharging public function shall not be amount to Defamation
CONDUCT OF ANY PERSON TOUCHING ANY PUBLIC QUESTION
Any person conducting the question with regard to public function is not Defamation
PUBLICATION OF REPORTS OF PROCEEDINGS OF COURTS
If the true reports of court proceedings are published, then it will not amount to Defamation.
MERITS OF CASE DECIDED IN COURT OR CONDUCT OF WITNESSES AND OTHERS CONCERNED
Expressing words with regard to merits of the case and the examination of the witness, which is already in the court record, will not amount to Defamation.
MERITS OF PUBLIC PERFORMANCE
Any statement with regard to public performance or any judgment made by the public will not be amount to Defamation.
CENSURE IS PASSED IN GOOD FAITH BY A PERSON HAVING LAWFUL AUTHORITY OVER ANOTHER.
Any censure being passed by the person who has authority over his subordinates, will not be amounted to Defamation.
ACCUSATION PREFERRED IN GOOD FAITH TO AUTHORIZED PERSON
The accusation made by lawful authority over an accused will not constitute Defamation.
IMPUTATION MADE IN GOOD FAITH BY PERSON FOR PROTECTION OF HIS OR OTHER'S INTERESTS
Any statement made with intention to protect the interest of others will not amount to Defamation.
CAUTION INTENDED FOR GOOD OF PERSON TO WHO CONVEYED OR FOR PUBLIC GOOD.
Any statement contending the cautious message for the public at Good will not amount to Defamation.