Defamation against us
Dear Sir, I am writing on behalf of Kolors Health Care India Pvt. Ltd. My Question is related to defamation of our company by our competitors. While users are searching for kolors reviews in google search engine there are some bad links and negative posts on our company. Can we suit with defamation notice to particular public forums. If Yes could you please tell me how to approach . Thank you, Kiran Kocherla
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. While a civil wrong tends to provide for a redressal of wrongs by awarding compensation, a criminal law seeks to punish a wrongdoer and send a message to others not to commit such acts. In Indian laws, criminal defamation has been specifically defined as an offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) whereas the civil defamation is based on tort law.
According to Section 499 of IPC, three elements have to be fulfilled before a defamation case can be filed-
1. Any defamatory statement has been circulated by a person with ill intention
2. This “circulation” is to be beyond the person who is being defamed and the person who is making up such stuff
3. Such “circulation” has led to loss of reputation for the victim
Please note that truth, mistake of fact and legally proved facts, are defences to defamation.
However, truth is generally considered to be a defence to defamation as a civil offence but under criminal law, truth is a defence only in a limited number of circumstances. Besides the statement or writing being demonstrably true, it also requires to be proved that the statement was made for public good.
The opposing party coud use the defence of "it was just an opinion" to nullify your claim. Expressing an opinion and sharing a personal experience, which is not intended to damage someone's reputation, is considered a valid defence as stated above. The second exception , under section 499, specifically states that- “expressing opinion” is not a case for defamation. Hence, you will have to prove that it was done with an ill intent, and it was not just an "opinion".
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