Question: A publishes a report of the proceedings of a court of justice. A is prosecuted for the offence of defamation defined under Section 499, I.P.C. A takes the defence that he has published a ‘substantially true report’ of the proceedings of the concerned court of justice, and he also proves the same during the trial. Will he… Read More »

Question: A publishes a report of the proceedings of a court of justice. A is prosecuted for the offence of defamation defined under Section 499, I.P.C. A takes the defence that he has published a ‘substantially true report’ of the proceedings of the concerned court of justice, and he also proves the same during the trial. Will he succeed and be liable to be acquitted? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A publishes a report of the proceedings of a court of...

Question: A publishes a report of the proceedings of a court of justice. A is prosecuted for the offence of defamation defined under Section 499, I.P.C. A takes the defence that he has published a ‘substantially true report’ of the proceedings of the concerned court of justice, and he also proves the same during the trial. Will he succeed and be liable to be acquitted?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A publishes a report of the proceedings of a court of justice. A is prosecuted for the offence of defamation defined under Section 499, I.P.C. A takes the defence that he has published a ‘substantially true report’ of the proceedings of the concerned court of justice, and he also proves the same during the trial. Will he succeed and be liable to be acquitted?]

Answer

Fourth Exception to section 499— Publication of reports of proceedings of Courts.—It is not defamation to publish a substantially true report of the proceedings of a Court of Justice, or of the result of any such proceedings.

Explanation— A Justice of the Peace or other officer holding an inquiry in open Court preliminary to a trial in a Court of Jus­tice, is a Court within the meaning of the above section

The ground on which the privilege of accurately reporting what takes place in a court of justice is based (as was pointed out by Lord Halsbury) on the fact that judicial proceedings are public. Thus, the publication of what takes place there, even if some matters happen to be defamatory to some individuals ought to be published, because such publication enlarges the area of the court and the public has a right to know what takes place inside the court. It follows that the report must fairly represent to the reader what he would have learned for himself if he had been present.

It is not, however, necessary that the report should be complete; in the sense of being verbatim, if it is substantially fair and correct, it is immaterial whether the proceedings were ex parte or not, or even whether the court had jurisdiction or not.

The report of the proceedings should be kept distinct from comments if there are any. The reporter ought not to mix up comments of his own. It was held in Stile v. Nokes 7 East 493 that to be libellous to publish a highly coloured account of criminal proceedings mixed with the reporter’s own observations and conclusions upon what passed in the court, headed ‘judicial delinquency’ and insinuating that the plaintiff, described as ‘our hero’ had committed perjury.

In the fourth exception, nothing is said as to ‘good faith’; the only requisite being that the report should be substantially true. So, in the present case, A will get the benefit of Exception 4 to section 499 of IPC hence he is not be said to have committed the offence of defamation.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-09-01T05:22:43+05:30
Admin LB

Admin LB

Next Story