Introduction:

Section 499 of the IPC deals with defamation.

A person is guilty of defamation when he:

  • By words, spoken or written, signs or visible representation
  • Makes or publishes any allegation regarding any person
  • Such allegation is made with the intention or knowledge of harming the reputation of a person

Exceptions to Defamation:

In some cases, even if the allegation injures the reputation of a person, the accused can avoid criminal liability.

  1. Public Good:

An imputation will not be defamatory if:

  • It is true
  • It is made for the benefit of the public
  1. Public conduct of public servants:

An opinion will not be defamatory if:

  • It is regarding the conduct of public servant when he is discharging the duties of his office
  • It is made in good faith.
  1. Conduct of a person touching any public question:

An imputation will not be defamatory if:

  • It is regarding the conduct of any person regarding any public question
  • It is made in good faith.
  1. Publication of Court Proceeding:

A publication is not defamatory if:

  • It is about court proceeding or the result of such proceeding
  • It is a substantially true report.

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