How Can You Prove Defamation?

Last updated on Sep 8, 2022

To prove a defamation case, you have to show the following things: 

  1. That the person who said or wrote things about you conveyed a defamatory message
  2. That the material was published, meaning that it was conveyed to someone other than you.
  3. That you could be identified as the person referred to in the defamatory material
  4. That you suffered some injury to your reputation as a result of the communication.

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Related Resources

What are the Forms of Defamation?

Saying or writing something which is harmful to a person's reputation, is called defamation. It’s against the law to intentionally harm someone’s reputation, cause them to be hated or disgraced through text, image, cartoons, caricatures or effigies.

What is the Punishment for Defamation?

If you say or write something to insult the reputation of a person, group of people or a company, a court can punish you for the crime of defamation. The punishment for defamation, in such cases, can be jail time up to 2 years and/or a fine.

Are Reviews/Critiques Excluded from Defamation?

If a review or critique of any public material or performance was made in good faith, then it is not considered an act of defamation.

What is the Punishment for Printing/Selling Defamatory Material?

Selling or trying to sell printed or engraved material which is defamatory can be punished with jail time of up to 2 years and/or with a fine.

Censorship of Films/Movies

Censorship is when an authority (such as the government) cuts out or stops the release of information. The official stance of the Indian Government is that it does not censor films, it only certifies them.

What does the law say you can/cannot do?

While anything that lowers the authority of the courts can be considered as contempt, there are certain exceptions given in the law. These include innocent publication and distribution of matter, fair and accurate reporting of a judicial proceeding, fair criticism of judicial actions, complaint against presiding officers of subordinate courts and truth.