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Quashing of Defamation Complaint by High Court

According to section 499 of IPC, 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 expected, to defame that person.

There is an exception to Section 499 which includes “imputation of truth” and this is required for the “public good” and it has to be published after the public conduct of officials.

Defamation Lawyers in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali

Also Read- DEFAMATION

Section 500deals with the punishment for defamation which 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.”

In India, defamation can be both civil offense and criminal offense. The remedy to the civil defamation is explained in the Law of Torts. As per the sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, a person guilty of criminal defamation is punished with jail for two years.

 

Also Read- FILING DEFAMATION CASE ALL THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Difference between a civil wrong and criminal offense

Criminal offenses and civil offenses differ in terms of punishment. Criminal cases have jail punishments, while in civil cases, only monetary punishments are there.A criminal case has both jail time and monetary punishments in the form of fines.The proof of offense also differs in criminal cases than in civil cases. Crimes must be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

 

Also Read-  KNOW ABOUT SECTION 188 IPC

Facts of the Case

High Court Quashes Chhabra’s defamation complaint

  • In a setback to Chandigarh Congress chief Pardeep Chhabra, the Punjab and Haryana high court quashed his criminal defamation complaint against former Punjab Civil Services officer PS Shergill, who indicated him beside the then local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal and Senior UT police and estate officials in the 2010 booth allotment scam.
  • Shergill, who was entrusted with the probe in 2010 during his stint as the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM, Central) here, referred to Chhabra as a member of the booth mafia involved in illegal allotment of booths in Chandigarh. The inquiry which revealed that the booth mafia fraudulently got nearly 90 booths in Sector 41’s Krishna market through a nexus officials, was submitted in 2011 to the then deputy commissioner.
  • The Congress leader filed a criminal defamation complaint against Shergill in a local court, two months after the report was submitted in February 2011.

Also Read- DEFAMATION LAWS IN INDIA

 

  • Shergill, who retired from the state services in 2016 and currently a member of the Punjab food commission, moved the high court in 2017 after the district court summoned him on Chhabra’s complaint.
  • Allowing Shergill’s Plea, HC in its March 13, 2019 order, which was uploaded on April 13 stated that the respondent (Chhabra’s) complaint in the present case is “nothing but abuse of process of law and amounts to a miscarriage of justice.”
  • Shergill in his report recommended a deeper probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to find the role of higher-ups if any, and alleged contributions made by illegal and ineligible licenses to the election funds of politicians indicated. He also sought criminal as well as departmental proceedings against at least a dozen police and estate officials with a strict warning the vigilance department should not be involved.

 

Also Read- DOCUMENT BASED ALLEGATION IS NOT DEFAMATION

  • In its four-page order, the HC observed that the report is still pending with higher authorities. “it was neither rejected nor accepted” the court added while saying the petitioner (Shergill) submitted the report in the discharge of his officials' duties.
  • Sources said the report was discussed in details at the level of the then UT adviser, KK Sharma. The role of previous DCs was also mentioned, but there was no official word on the report later. When contacted, assistant sale estate officer Captain Manish Lohan said he will comment only after going through the case flies.

 

Also Read- HOW TO FILE A DEFAMATION CASE

  • Claiming he would file an appeal, Chhabra alleged Shergill’s report was the result of his personal enmity with him.
  • Meanwhile, Shergill said he never had any personal enmity with anyone and he took one year to complete the report. “there was no question on the bias, as was projected later,” he said.
  • Shergill’s counsel Gagan Wasu said that the inquiry was ordered by the highest echelons of the UT administration, which holds the right to either reject or accept it, but they did not do anything.
  •  

Also Read- CRIMINAL DEFAMATION IN INDIA

For your specific case advice, you may contact top/best/expert Criminal Defamation Lawyers/Advocate in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali Zirakpur Derabassi Kharar Mullanpur New Chandigarh.

This post is written by Damini Aggarwal (PU). For more info, please dial 99888-17966.

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