DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST CYBER DEFAMATION
A Practical Guide with Case Studies, Sample Legal Notices & More!
ALL THE HELP YOU NEED
QUICK PEEK INSIDE
Bonus: Sample Defamation Legal Notices
Criminal Defamation under Section 499, 500 of IPC
Yes, I have covered this topic in great detail.
Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 provides punishment for online Defamation.
Section 66A can be read as follows
66A. Punishment for sending offensive messages through communication service, etc..-
Any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device,-
(a) any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or
(b) any information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will, persistently makes by making use of such computer resource or a communication device;
(c) any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages,
shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.
Explanation: For the purposes of this section, terms “Electronic mail" and “Electronic Mail Message" means a message or information created or transmitted or received on a computer, computer system, computer resource or communication device including attachments in text, image, audio, video and any other electronic record, which may be transmitted with the message.
Section 65A and Section 65B of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 provides for Admissibility of electronic records as evidence.
SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. Jogesh Kwatra
In India’s first case of cyber defamation, a Court of Delhi assumed jurisdiction over a matter where a corporate’s reputation was being defamed through emails and passed an important ex-parte injunction.
In this case, the defendant Jogesh Kwatra being an employ of the plaintiff company started sending derogatory, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, filthy and abusive emails to his employers as also to different subsidiaries of the said company all over the world with the aim to defame the company and its Managing Director Mr. R K Malhotra. The plaintiff filed a suit for permanent injunction restraining the defendant from doing his illegal acts of sending derogatory emails to the plaintiff.
On behalf of the plaintiffs it was contended that the emails sent by the defendant were distinctly obscene, vulgar, abusive, intimidating, humiliating and defamatory in nature.
Counsel further argued that the aim of sending the said emails was to malign the high reputation of the plaintiffs all over India and the world. He further contended that the acts of the defendant in sending the emails had resulted in invasion of legal rights of the plaintiffs. Further the defendant is under a duty not to send the aforesaid emails. It is pertinent to note that after the plaintiff company discovered the said employee could be indulging in the matter of sending abusive emails, the plaintiff terminated the services of the defendant.
After hearing detailed arguments of Counsel for Plaintiff, Hon’ble Judge of the Delhi High Court passed an exparte ad interim injunction observing that a prima facie case had been made out by the plaintiff. Consequently, the Delhi High Court restrained the defendant from sending derogatory, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, humiliating and abusive emails either to the plaintiffs or to its sister subsidiaries all over the world including their Managing Directors and their Sales and Marketing departments. Further, Hon’ble Judge also restrained the defendant from publishing, transmitting or causing to be published any information in the actual world as also in cyberspace which is derogatory or defamatory or abusive of the plaintiffs.
499. Defamation.—Whoever, 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 or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person.
Explanation 1.—It may amount to defamation to impute anything to a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives.
Explanation 2.—It may amount to defamation to make an imputation concerning a company or an association or collection of persons as such.
Explanation 3.—An imputation in the form of an alternative or expressed ironically, may amount to defamation. Explanation 4.—No imputation is said to harm a person’s reputation, unless that imputation directly or indirectly, in the estimation of others, lowers the moral or intellectual character of that person, or lowers the character of that person in respect of his caste or of his calling, or lowers the credit of that person, or causes it to be believed that the body of that person is in a loathsome state, or in a state generally considered as disgraceful.
Popular Defamation Cases in India
1997: B V P Rao vs Rata Tata and others
2006: R S Lodha vs B K Birla
2008: Anil Ambani vs Mukesh Ambani
2010: Chris Cairns vs Lalit Modi
2014: Veritas vs Indiabulls
More case laws
- Kavita C das vs Arvind Thakur, 2014(1)RCR(Criminal)243
- Syed Asifuddin & Other V The State Of Andhra Pradesh & Another, 2006 (1) Ald Cri 96
- Abhinav Gupta V State Of Haryana, 2008 CRLJ 4536
- National Association of Software and Service Companies v. Ajay Sood & Others, 119 (2005) DLT 596
- Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India Public Charitable Trust Thr Trustee Mahesh Gupta V Jitender Bagga & Anr., Cs(Os) No.1340/2012
- Google India Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Visaka Industries Limited Criminal Petition No. 7207 Of 2009, Decided On: 19.04.2011
- Avnish Bajaj v. State (N.C.T.) of Delhi,(2005)3CompLJ364 (Del)
- State of Tamil Nadu Vs Suhas Katti, CC No. 4680/2004
- Tata Sons Limited V Mr. Manu Kishori & Ors., (2001)ILR 1Delhi236
- B. N Firos V State Of Kerala, AIR2006Ker279
- Rediff Communication V Cyberbooth &Anr, 1999 (4) BOM CR278
- Yahoo! Inc. V Akash Arora, 1999 IIAD Delhi 229
- Satyam Infoway Ltd. V Sifynet Solutions P. Ltd, Appeal (Civil) 3028 Of 2004
- Times Internet v. M/s Belize Domian Whois Service Ltd & Others. CS(OS) No. 1289/2008
- Microsoft Corporation V Mr. Kiran & Another, 2007(35)PTC748(Del)
- SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. V. Jogesh Kwatra
- Manish Katuria case
- Karan Girotra V State Bail Appn. 977/2011
- United States v. Jake Baker, 104 F.3d 1492
- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation vs.NRI Film Production Associates (P) LTD. AIR 2003 Karnataka 148
- State of Maharashtra vs. Dr. Praful B Desai , (AIR 2003 SC 2053)
- Jagjit singh vs. State of Haryana, (2006) 11 SCC 1)
- Dharambir vs. Central Bureau of Investigation (148 (2008) DLT 289)
- Anvar P.V. Vs. P.K. Basheer and Others, (AIR 2015 SC 180)
- Indian Micro Electronics (P) Ltd. Vs. Chandra Industries and Ors., Crl. L.P. 233/2014,
- Abdul Rahaman Kunji Vs. The State of West Bengal MANU/WB/0828/2014
- Ankur Chawla Vs. CBI MANU/DE/2923/2014
- Jagdeo Singh and Ors. Vs. The State, 2015IIIAD(Delhi)268
- Tomasa Bruno vs State of UP, (2015)7SCC178
- Casio India Co. Limited V Ashita Tele Systems Pvt. Limited , 106 (2003) DLT 554
- India TV Independent News V India Broadcast Live, MIPR 2007 (2) 396
- Banyan Tree Holding Pvt. Ltd. V Murli Krishnan Reddy, (2008) 38 PTC 288, (Del.)
- Renaissance Hotel Holdings, Inc V B Vijaya Sai
- The People of the State of New York V Gaming Corporation, 714 NYS 2d 844
- American Banana Company V United Fruit Company, 213 U.S. 347, 356
- Calder v. Jones, (1984) US Supreme Court
- Zippo Mfg. v. Zippo Dot Com Inc, 952 F.Supp. 1119 (W.D. Pa. 1997)
- United States v. Thomas, 74 F.3d 701 (6th Cir. 1996)
- State of Punjab v. Amritsar Beverages Ltd. (2006) 7 SCC 607