Defamation Section 499-502 IPC (Indian Penal Code) Chapter XXI

Defamation Section 499-502 IPC

IPC an Introduction

Section – 499. Defamation

Section 499 deals with the defamation

  • Whoever
  •  makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person, by words spoken or written or by signs or by visible  representations
  • intending to harm or knowing that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person
  • is said defamation

Explanation

  • There may be defamation of a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the fellings of his family or other near relatives.
  • There may be defamation of a company or an association or collection of persons
  • An imputation may be in the form of an alternative or expressed ironically
  • There may be no defamation unless the imputation directly  or indirectly, in the estimation of others,

lowers the moral or intellectual character of that person,

lowers the character of that person in respect of his caste or of his calling (Profession),

or lowers the credit of that person,

 or causes to believe  that the body of that person is in a lothsome state or disgraceful state.

But There are Ten Exceptions

  • First Exception Imputation of truth in  public good.

Whether it is for the public good is a question of fact.

  • Second Exception.—Public conduct of public servants.

so far as his character appears in that conduct, and no further.

  • Third Exception.—Conduct of any person touching any public question

so far as his character appears in that conduct, and no further.

Ex: It is not defamation in A to express in good faith any opinion whatever resepting Z’s conduct in petitioning Government on a public question

Fourth Exception.—Publication of reports of proceedings of courts

Explanation.A Justice of the Peace or other officer holding an enquiry in open Court preliminary to   a trial in a Court of Justice, is a Court within the meaning of the above section.

  • Fifth Exception.—Merits of case decided in Court or conduct of witnesses and others concerned.

as far as his character appears in that conduct, and no further.

Illustrations

  • A says“I think Z’s evidence on that trial is so contradictory that he must be stupid or dishonest.” A is within this exception if he says this in good faith, inasmuch as the opinion which he expresses respects Z’s character as it appears in Z’s conduct as a witness, and no farther.
  • But if A says“I do not believe what Z asserted at that trial because I know him to be a man without veracity”; A is not within this exception, inasmuch as the opinion which express of Z’s character, is an opinion not founded on Z’s conduct as a witness.
  • Sixth Exception.—Merits of public performance so far as his character appears in such performance, and  no further.

Explanation.A performance may be submitted to the judgment of the public expressly or by acts on  the part of the author which imply such submission to the judgment of the public.

Illustrations

  • A person who publishes a book, submits that book to the judgment of the public.
  • A person who makes a speech in public, submits that speech to the judgment of the public.
  • An actor or singer who appears on a public stage, submits his acting or singing to the judgment of the public.
  • A says of a book published by Z—“Z’s book is foolish; Z must be a weak man. Z’s book is indecent; Z must be a man of impure mind.” A is within the exception, if he says this in good faith, inasmuch as the opinion which he expresses of Z respects Z’s character only so far as it appears in Z’s book, and no further.
  • But if A says “I am not surprised that Z’s book is foolish and indecent, for he is a weak man and a libertine.” A is not within this exception, inasmuch as the opinion which he expresses of Z’s character is an opinion not founded on Z’s book.
  • Seventh Exception.—Censure passed in good faith by person having lawful authority over another.

Illustration

A Judge censuring in good faith the conduct of a witness, or of an officer of the Court;

 a head of a department censuring in good faith those who are under his orders,

a parent censuring in good faith a child in the presence of other children;

 a schoolmaster, whose authority is derived from a parent, censuring in good faith a pupil in the presence of other pupils;

a master censuring a servant in good faith for remissness in service;

 a banker censuring in good faith the cashier of his bank for the conduct of such cashier as such cashier- are within this exception.

  • Eighth Exception.—Accusation preferred in good faith to authorised person. person to.

Illustration

If A in good faith accuses Z before a Magistrate; if A in good faith complains of the conduct of Z, a servant, to Z’s master;

if A in good faith complains of the conduct of Z, a child, to Z’s father-A is within this exception.

  • Ninth Exception.—Imputation made in good faith by person for protection of his or other’s interests.

Illustrations

  • A, a shopkeeper, says to B, who manages his business“Sell nothing to Z unless he pays you ready money, for I have no opinion of his honesty.”

A is within the exception, if he has made this imputation on Z in good faith for the protection of his own interests.

  • A, a Magistrate, in making a report to his own superior officer, casts an imputation on the character of Z.

 Here, if the imputation is made in good faith, and for the public good, A is within the exception.

  • Tenth Exception.—Caution intended for good of person to whom conveyed or for public good.

Section – 500.Punishment for defamation.

Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment up to two years  or with fine or with both.

Section – 501. Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory.

Whoever prints or engraves any matter  knowing or having good reason to believe that such matter is defamatory for any person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment up to two years or with fine or with both.

Section – 502. Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter.

Whoever sells or offers for sale any printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter knowing that it contains such matter, shall be punished with simple imprisonment up to two years  or with fine or with both.

Chapter -20    Of Offences relating to marriage ( CrPC 198)

Section 493 to 498A deals with the offences relating to marriage

Mock Marriage ( Section 493 & 496)

Bigamy (494 & 495)

Adultery (497)

Criminal elopement ( 498)

Section – 493. Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.

Whenever  any  man        deceitfully induces any woman (who is not lawfully married to him) a belief of  lawfully marriage to him and cohabit or have sexual intercourse with her in that belief,

shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may be up to ten years and fine.

Section – 496. Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage.

Whoever dishonestly or fraudulently goes through the marriage ceremony knowing that he  is not thereby lawfully married,

 shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and fine.

Difference between Section 493 & 496

  1. Under Section 493 A man deceitfully induces any woman and cohabit whereas under section 496 no deception, cohabitation but dishonest or fraudulent abuse of the marriage ceremony
  2. Under section 496 the offence can be committed by a man or woman whereas under Section 493 the offence can be committed only by a man.

IPC

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