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Cyber Defamation

Cyber defamation is not a specific criminal offence, misdemeanour or tort, but rather defamation or slander conducted via digital media, usually through the Internet. In India the instance of cyber defamation has raised alarmingly and have affected the life of several thousand social media users. Herein an individuals or organisation affect the reputation of other by publishing any untrue statement or untrue fact against the other individual, corporate or organisation with the intention to demean his reputation and knowingly that the fact one is stating or publishing in public domain is wrong and devoid of any truth. The cyber defamation is broadly governed by provisions in Indian Penal Code 1980 and Information Technology act which states as follow Section 499 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) : says that 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 excepted, to defame that person. The offence of defamation is punishable under Section 500 of IPC with a simple imprisonment up to 2 years or fine or both. The law of defamation under Section 499 got extended to "Speech" and "Documents" in electronic form with the enactment of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Section 469 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) : Says that whoever commits forgery, intending that the document or electronic record forged shall harm the reputation of any party, or knowing that it is likely to be used for that purpose shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. The phrase “intending that the document forged” under Section 469 was replaced by the phrase “intending that the document or electronic record forged” vide the Information and Technology Act, 2000. Section 503 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) : Says that offense of criminal intimidation by use of use of emails and other electronic means of communication for threatening or intimidating any person or his property or reputation. It further states that whosoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threats, commits criminal intimidation. Section 66A of The Information Technology Act, says that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or a communication device:- any information that is grossly offensive or has menacing character; or any content information which he knows to be false, but for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, or ill will, persistently makes by making use of such computer resource or a communication device, any electronic mail or electronic mail message for the purpose of causing annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or to mislead the addressee or recipient about the origin of such messages shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine. The complaint against cyber defamation can be filed before the Cyber crime investigation Cell which has opened up in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hydrabad, Banglore , MP, Lucknow and other major cities. This cell deals with computer related high tech crimes.

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