Question: A says of a book published by B: “I am not surprised that B’s book is foolish and indecent for B is a man of impure mind and bad character”. Do these remarks amount to defamation and why? [R.J.S. 1977] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A says of a book published… Read More »

Question: A says of a book published by B: “I am not surprised that B’s book is foolish and indecent for B is a man of impure mind and bad character”. Do these remarks amount to defamation and why? [R.J.S. 1977] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A says of a book published by B: “I am not surprised that B’s book is foolish and indecent for B is a man of impure mind and bad character”. Do these remarks amount to defamation and why?] Answer The sixth...

Question: A says of a book published by B: “I am not surprised that B’s book is foolish and indecent for B is a man of impure mind and bad character”. Do these remarks amount to defamation and why? [R.J.S. 1977]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A says of a book published by B: “I am not surprised that B’s book is foolish and indecent for B is a man of impure mind and bad character”. Do these remarks amount to defamation and why?]

Answer

The sixth Exception to section 499 is based on the Merit of public performance. The exception states that it is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion respecting the merits of any performance which its author has submitted to the judgment of the public, or respecting the character of the author so far as his character appears in such performance, and no further.

Explanation.—A performance may be submitted to the judgment of the public expressly or by acts on the part of the author which imply such submission to the judgment of the public.

The object of this exception is that the public should have the benefit of free criticism of all public performances submitted to its judgment. This exception is intended specially to refer to literary and dramatic criticism of the words of literary men and dramatists. The essential conditions are:

  1. That the author must have expressly or by implication invited public criticism, which he may do by the mere act of publication, though he may not distribute his work for review;
  2. The criticism must relate to the merits of the performance as distinct from the general capacity of the performer; and
  3. It must be made in good faith.

The facts of the present case are borrowed from the illustration (d) appended to the Sixth Exception of defamation. In this case, when A says of a book published by Z—’Z’s book is foolish; Z must be a weak man. Z’s book is indecent; Z must be a man of impure mind’. A is within this exception, if he says this in good faith, inasmuch as the opinion which he expresses of Z respects Z’s character only so far as it appears in Z’s book, and no further. Hence, A gets protection under this section.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

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Updated On 2021-09-04T19:05:39+05:30
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