In the 21st century, we cannot think without the Internet. It becomes a big part of our daily life. It has brought the earth closer to every man who has access to it. But with the rising Internet users, the crime rates in cyberspace are also growing. This crime is the most dangerous weapons to attempt crime on the internet. It impedes the person’s identity and highlights them on the internet.
What is Cyber Defamation?
The term ‘cyber defamation’ means publishing erroneous allegations about a person in cyberspace that can harm or criticize that person’s credibility. Cyber defamation is the usage of computers and the internet to publicly broadcast a false allegation against a person.
In India, defamation is a civil as well as a criminal offence, and the Indian judiciary gives legal remedies for the victims of cyber defamation.
Cyber defamation is also considered online defamation.
Legal Provision on Cyber Defamation:-
Indian law has some legal provisions to deal with cyber defamation. Those legal provisions are stated below –
Indian Penal Code, 1860: This Act includes provisions to deal with cyber defamation.
Section 469 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deal with forgery for the objective of harming a person’s reputation. As per the section if any person executes forgery with the intention of harm person’s reputation then the person shall be penalized with detention for three years with a fine.
Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 handle defamation. As per the section if any person by words spoken or intended to be read or by hints or noticeable indications makes or discloses any imputation about any person to harm him or knowing that such imputation will damage the reputation of such person.
Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deal with punishment for defamation. As per the section if any person commits defamation intentionally then the person will punishable with imprisonment for two years or a fine or both.
Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deal with criminal coercion. If any person threatens or coerces any person’s property or reputation by use of any electronic means of communication.
If any person compels another person with an injury to his reputation or property or to the person or reputation of anyone in whom that person is interested, with a purpose to cause panic to that person or to induce that person to do any act which he is illegally bound to do or to exclude to do any act which that person is legally allowed to do as the means of preventing the execution of such threats, commits criminal coercion.
Information Technology Act, 2000:
This Act also includes provisions to deal with cyber defamation.
Section 66(a) of the Information Technology Act 2000 stated that any information that is offensive or has threatening character or any content information which he knows to be false but to cause annoyance, obstacle, danger, abuse, injury, criminal intimidation, hatred or ill will persistently make by the use of such computer resource or an electronic communication device or electronic mail message to cause obstacle or to delude the addressee or recipient about the root of such messages shall be penalized with imprisonment for a period which may extend to three years and with a fine.
Evidence Act, 1872: This Act also includes provisions to deal with cyber defamation.
Section 65(a) & 65(b) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 stated that any electronic record published on paper or documented or copied in visual or magnetic media shall be deemed as a document and shall be acceptable by the court of law. In that case, online chats on social media and electronic mails are also acceptable.
Case Law on Cyber Defamation:-
Over the years, the Indian judiciary has witnessed many cyber defamation cases. One of them is stated below –
In the case of Kalandi Charan Lenka V. In the state of Odisha (BLAPL No.7596 of 2016), the petitioner was being chased and a fake account of her was later created and indecent messages were sent to the friends by the offender. A morphed nude image was also posted on the walls of the hostel where the victim lived. The apex court after viewing all the case held that the offender is accountable for his offence and should punishable under the law.
Internet is the most useful tool for everyone, now it becomes a part of our life. People use it for work purpose, learning purpose or entertainment purposes but sometimes this internet makes people victims of cyber defamation. It causes harm to someone’s reputation, mental peace. There are several laws and cyber cell departments to deal with cyber defamation but the real change happen when we are getting more aware of the matters related to cyber defamation.
By Shreeparna Goswami
3rd year of Shyambazar Law College.
 Indian Penal Code 1860.
 What is Cyber Defamation? | LawLex.Org, https://lawlex.org/lex-pedia/what-is-cyber-defamation/25167.
 BLAPL No. 7596 of 2016. Case: Kalandi Charan Lenka Vs State of Odisha. Orissa High Court – Case Law – VLEX 678707441, https://vlex.in/vid/kalandi-charan-lenka-vs-678707441.
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