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Defamation Suit Against Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut

Defamation Suit Against Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut:

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya’s wife Medha has filed a civil defamation suit against Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut.

  • Somaiya sought court to direct Raut either pay her Rs 100cr or deposit amount in CM relief fund.
  • Raut had repeatedly made defamatory public statements against her and her husband, she claimed.
  • Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual person, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.
  • In India, defamation can both be a civil wrong and a criminal offence. The difference between the two lies in the objects they seek to achieve.
  • A civil wrong tends to provide for a redressal of wrongs by awarding compensation and a criminal law seeks to punish a wrongdoer and send a message to others not to commit such acts.

Legal provisions:

  • Criminal defamation has been specifically defined as an offence under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • Civil defamation is based on tort law (an area of law which does not rely on statutes to define wrongs but takes from an ever-increasing body of case laws to define what would constitute a wrong).
  • Section 499 states defamation could be through words, spoken or intended to be read, through signs, and also through visible representations.
  • Section 499 also cites exceptions. These include “imputation of truth” which is required for the “public good” and thus has to be published, on the public conduct of government officials, the conduct of any person touching any public question and merits of the public performance.
  • Section 500 of IPC, which is on punishment for defamation, reads, “Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”