Exemptions to Section 499 IPC

Topics: Defamation, Truth, Legal terms Pages: 5 (1556 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Explain with suitable examples 'Exceptions for IPC Sec 499’

IC Sec 499 states that:

“ 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 excepted, 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.” Exceptions:

1)Imputation of truth in public interest for public good
2)Public conduct of public servants
3)Conduct of any person touching any public question
4)Publication of Reports of Proceedings or Courts
5)Merits of a case decided in court or conduct of witnesses and others 6)Merits of public performance
7)Censure passed in Good faith by person having lawful authority over another 8)Accusation preferred (made) in good faith to authorized person 9)Imputation made in good faith by person for protection of his or other’s interest 10)Caution intended for good of person to whom conveyed on for public good. Imputation of truth in public interest for public good

This section recognizes the publication of truth as a sufficient justification if it is made for public good though the truth is no defense if the defamatory statement is seditious or blasphemous. The burden of proving that the case is covered by this exception lies on the person who sets up this plea for avoiding guilty. It need not be proved that the statement is completely true but it is enough if it was substantially true. At the same time, no amount of truth will satisfy this exception if the truth was not for the interest of the public. The term public includes any class of the public or community. Public men such as generals, judges, authors, actors, doctors, members of public bodies are all people whose acts concern the welfare of the public and thus any true publication about them made for public good would be protected.' The publication of the imputations is only protected if for public good and any excessive publication is penalized. Thus, the person cannot escape liability if, in addition to statements which would be protected he goes further and, makes false and uncalled for statements for then he cannot be regarded to have acted in good faith.

Public Conduct of Public Servants and Imputation made in good faith by person for protection of his or other’s interest

Exception 2 deals with the criticism of public servants. Where an editor of a newspaper is prosecuted for defamation under section 500 IPC for publishing defamatory statements complaining about the conduct of the jail superintendent towards the prisoners and about the defective sanitary fitting and medical arrangements in the jail, the accused must show that the opinion expressed by him was confined to the character of the official concerned so far as it appeared in his conduct in the discharge of his public action. However, under the second and ninth exception to section 499 IPC the opinion...
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