online defamation

Introduction

The internet has changed the life of people. It has enormous types of information which were not easily accessible in the earlier times. The Internet is an influential power. Anything you put on the internet might get viral within seconds. It is the most used medium for communication around the world. It has expanded the business and trade.

Anything like booking movie tickets, sending messages, hunting jobs, shopping has become so easy as everything is possible through internet. Keeping aside the positive aspects it has given birth and a new face to various crimes in our country.

Criminals through the medium of internet have learned new techniques and crimes which is very dangerous to the mankind.

Online defamation or cyber defamation can damage your image to a very large extent as internet is a powerful medium for exchanging thoughts and messages. Once anything uploaded on the net it is very hard to remove it.

Online defamation

The term defamation means injury caused to the reputation of a person in front of a third person. Injury can be done by oral, written or virtual representations. The intention of a person making a defamatory statement should be such that it is likely to cause injury to the reputation of the person in front of the general public.

Online defamation is a new concept as it started with the beginning of the internet. Although the defamation is the same but the style of defamation has changed from oral or written to a virtual medium.

Online defamation is the publication of a defamatory material over the internet against another person such that the reputation of that person is damaged or injured in front of general public. The defamatory material can either be published on a website or sent over emails but the main ingredient that should be present is defaming a person reputation in front of a third person or general public over the internet. Once the defamatory material went online it is irreparable.

Mediums through which online defamation committed

World Wide Web (www)

It is an information space where documents and other web resources are uploaded to have an access to millions of people. WWW has a URL and is used with the help of internet.

Discussion groups

It is basically a group of individuals who have held up together formally or informally to discuss over a particular topic bringing up ideas, solutions and their point of views.

E-mail

E-mail is an electronic mail which is a platform to exchange formal or informal messages between people using electronic devices.

Provisions governing cyber defamation in India

The Indian penal code, 1860 deals with the problem of cyber defamation in India.

Section 499, IPC

  • Section 499 of IPC says that 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 reasons to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.
  • The offence of defamation is punishable under section 500 of IPC with simple imprisonment upto 2 years or fine or
  • The law of defamation under Section 499 got reached out to “Discourse” and “Archives” in electronic shape with the authorization of the Information Technology Act,

Section 469, IPC

  • Section 469 of IPC says that whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall harm the reputation of any party, or knowing that it is likely to be used for that purpose shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to
  • The phrase “intending that the document forged” under Section 469 was replaced by the phrase “intending that the document or electronic record forged” vide the Information and Technology Act,

Section 503, IPC

  • Section 503 of IPC defines the offense of criminal intimidation by use of use of emails and other electronic means of communication for threatening or intimidating any person or his property or
  • Section 503 says that whoever, threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of anyone in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threats, commits criminal

Information Technology Act, 2000

The Section 66A of the Information Act, 2000 does not particularly manage the offense of digital defamation yet it makes culpable the demonstration of sending horribly hostile material for causing affront, damage or criminal terrorizing.

Section 66A of the information technology act, 2000

It states that any person who sends, by means of a communication device:-

  • Any information that is grossly offensive or having threatening character;
  • any content 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,
  • 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

Where to hold up an objection

A man abused of the offense of cyber criticism can make a complaint to the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell. The Cyber Crime Investigation Cell is a branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Cyber Crime Investigation Cells have opened up in numerous urban areas like Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Tamil-Nadu, Gurgaon, Pune, Madhya-Pradesh, Lucknow, and so on. The cybercrime examination Cells manage offenses identified with the PC, PC organize, PC asset, PC frameworks, PC gadgets and Internet. It additionally has the energy to investigate other innovative crimes.

Legal response to offense of cyber defamation

In the principal instance of cyber criticism in India, SMC Pneumatics (India) Pvt. Ltd. v. Jogesh Kwatra, the image of a corporate was being defamed by a representative of the offended party organization by sending harsh, defamatory, revolting, messages disgusting, obscene, smudged and damaging messages to its bosses and furthermore to various subsidiaries of the said organization everywhere throughout the world with the intent to defaming the organization and its Managing Director. The Hon’ble Judge of the Delhi High Court passed an ex-parte temporary order watching that a prima facie case had been made out by the offended party.

Therefore, the Delhi High Court controlled the restrained from sending disdainful, defamatory, profane, revolting, embarrassing and oppressive messages either to the offended parties or to its sister subsidiaries everywhere throughout the world including their Managing Directors and their Sales and Marketing divisions. Further, Hon’ble Judge likewise controlled the respondent from distributing, transmitting or causing to be distributed any data in the genuine world as additionally on the internet which is disdainful or defamatory or harsh of the offended parties.

For another situation, State of Tamil Nadu v. Suhas Katti identified with the posting of vulgar, defamatory and irritating message about a divorced person lady in the yahoo message gathering. Messages were likewise sent to the victim for data by the blamed through a false email account opened by him in the name of the victim. The posting of the message brought about irritating telephone calls to the woman in the conviction that she was requesting. In light of a grumbling made by the victim in February 2004, the Police followed the accused to Mumbai and captured him inside the following couple of days. Depending on the master witnesses and other proof created before it, including the witnesses of the Cyber Cafe owners, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate held the accused liable for offenses under segment 469, 509 IPC and 67 of IT Act, 2000 and the accused is indicted and is condemned for the offense to experience RI for a long time under 469 IPC and to pay fine of Rs.500/ – and for the offense u/s 509 IPC condemned to experience 1 year Simple detainment and to pay fine of Rs.500/ – and for the offense u/s 67 of IT Act 2000 to experience RI for a long time and to pay fine of Rs.4000/ – All sentences to run simultaneously.” The conviction of the charged was accomplished effectively inside a moderately brisk time of 7 months from the recording of the FIR.

On account of Tata Sons versus Turtle International, the Delhi High Court has held that production is a comprehensive term, grasping all structures and mediums – including the Internet. That a web production has more extensive viewership, or a level of lastingness, and more prominent availability, than other settled mediums of expressions does not change the basic part, i.e. that it is a discussion or medium. There is much sense to have more characterized criteria considering the idea of the web content. Directives on web substance ought not to be promptly allowed (particularly ex-parte) since, firstly the web is a simple, independently publishing stage giving a medium of expressions to minor people not having corporatist outlets. Also, the web encourages the circulation of substance for a minor cost to a tremendous group of onlookers. Both the alleged injury and the free speech concern are greater due to the wider dissemination of the content.

These are just a portion of the worries which set the web apart and it is attractive to have a nuanced appreciation.

Conclusion

The internet is the fastest form of communication available. Everything today is available on the internet from a pen to a motorcycle on just a single click. The internet has both good and bad attributes. Depending on the user using it. The world has transformed due to the internet. It is an influential power through which anyone can be influenced. Cyber defamation is one such bad attribute of the internet as on just one click an individual’s whole reputation may be injured.

– Raghav Ajmera

D.E.S’s Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College

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