Section 500 in The Indian Penal Code

Section 500 in The Indian Penal Code- Punishment for defamation

Section 500 in The Indian Penal Code– Punishment for defamation

Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

The remedy for a civil defamation is covered under the Law of Torts. The Indian penal Code, 1860 provides an opportunity for the defamed person to file a criminal case against the accused. Under sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, a person guilty of criminal defamation can be sent to jail for two years.

Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India guarantees all Indian citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression. Article 19(2) allows the state to make laws which impose reasonable restrictions on this right in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence. Of these, only defamation protects the private interest in protecting an individual’s reputation. All the other interests are essentially public interests. The test in determining the constitutionality of a law under Article 19(2) is whether the law is a “reasonable restriction” on free speech.

SECTION 500 – Punishment for defamation

Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

1. If an offence is cognizable, police has the authority to arrest the accused without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court. Otherwise police does not have the authority to arrest the accused without a warrant and an investigation cannot be initiated without a court order.

2. If an offence is bailable, police has the authority to release the accused on bail on getting the defined surety amount along with a duly filled bail bond at the concerned police station. Otherwise arrested person has to apply for bail before a magistrate or court 

3. If an offence is compoundable, a compromise can be done between the accused and the victim, and a trial can be avoided. Otherwise, No compromise is allowed between the accused and the victim except under certain situations, where the High Court or the Supreme Court have the authority for quashing a matter. 

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