IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on Current Affairs: Defamation

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IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on Current Affairs: Defamation

IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on Current Affairs: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will conduct the civil services (CS) preliminary examination on June 18 this year. It is one of the most esteemed and toughest exams in the country. With a success rate of 0.1- 0.3 percent of the total percentage of candidates who apply, it is really difficult to nail the examination.

As you know, On 28th March 2017, we have shared IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on current affairs which will help you prepare for your upcoming examination. Here is the topic that we have discussed on 7th April, Click on the link below to explore

IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on Current Affairs: UNESCO Creative Cities Network

As promised, today we are going to continue with the Thirteen topic i.e Defamation. Let us provide you the brief explanation of the said topic.

 

IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on Current Affairs: Defamation  

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Let us provide you the explanation of the given topic.

DEFAMATION

Any intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harms a person’s reputation; decreases the respect,regard, or confidence in which a person is held; or induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings againsta person.

Introduction

  • The term “defamation” is an all-encompassing term that covers any statement that hurts someone’s reputation.
  • In India, defamation can both be a civil wrong or a criminal offence.
  • The difference between the two lies in the objects they seek to achieve. While a civil wrong tends to provide for a redressal of wrongs by awarding compensation, a criminal law seeks to punish a wrongdoer and send a message to others not to commit such acts.
  • In Indian laws, criminal defamation has been specifically defined as an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) whereas the civil defamation is based on tort law – an area of law which does not rely on statutes to define wrongs but takes from ever-increasing body of case laws to define what would constitute a wrong.
  • Moreover, in a criminal case, defamation has to be established beyond reasonable doubt but in a civil defamation suit, damages can be awarded based on probabilities.
  • Section 499 of the IPC defines what amounts to criminal defamation and few subsequent provisions specify what the punishment for having committed defamation would be.
  • Section 499 states defamation could be through words – spoken or intended to be read, through signs, and also through visible representations. These can either be published or spoken about a person with the intention of damaging reputation of that person, or with the knowledge or reason to believe that the imputation will harm his reputation.
  • Section 500 stipulates an imprisonment of up to two years, with or without fine, for someone held guilty of criminal defamation. However, criminal defamation is a compoundable offence and parties can seek a closure of the case by reaching a compromise.

Views of the Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court said that the right to free speech cannot be used to undermine an individual’s right to dignity and reputation cannot be sullied solely because another individual can have his freedom. Protection of reputation is a fundamental right. It is also a human right. Cumulatively, it serves the social interest…it is not a restriction that has an inevitable consequence which impairs circulation of thought and ideas.
  • The reputation of a person – a basic element under Article 21 – could not be allowed to be crucified at the altar of the other’s right of free speech. Right to freedom of speech and expression is not absolute. It is subject to imposition of reasonable restrictions.
  • Reasonable restriction “means that the limitation imposed on a person in enjoyment of the right should not be arbitrary or of an excessive nature beyond what is required in the interests of the public.” In other words, the restriction must be narrow and restrict only what is necessary and should not be arbitrary or excessive. If the restriction is too broad, it will have a “chilling effect on speech” which will make it unconstitutional.
  • The Supreme Court has maintained the constitutional validity of Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, reading the right to reputation as a part of the right to life assured to citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Over here we conclude our article on IAS Prelims 2017 Important Topics on Current Affairs. Stay tuned with us for the rest of the topic that we will discuss day by day. 

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