False Allegations Can Lead To Defamation – Karnataka High Court - Synopsis
Karandeep Singh 15 Oct 2020

False Allegations Can Lead To Defamation – Karnataka High Court

An allegation raised against persons can leads to the criminal defamation either it’s a civil matter or a criminal matter.

In Smt. Sushma Rani vs. Sri Nagaraja Rao Crl.R.P.No.152/2014, c/w.Crl.R.P.No.1358/2010, a complaint was filed in Family Court by a husband (complainant) against his wife (respondent) seeking The Restitution of Conjugal Right under Section 9 of The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, as his wife left him because of his behavior towards her for which she made allegations on him. Court accepted the same on April 11, 2005, by allowing the restitution of conjugal right to the husband. After a year, another complaint has been filed by the husband in 2006 before the Trial Court alleging that the statement which was made by his wife in prior court’s hearing amounts to defamation, as it harmed the reputation of the complainant in the society. It results in the conviction of the wife for the charge of defamation under Section 500 along with Section 191 and Section 193 of The Indian Penal Code, 1872. A challenging appeal filed by the wife before the Fast Track Court XIV, was dismissed on December 15, 2012.

Another appeal by wife was produced before The High Court of Karnataka, in which learned counsel of appellant submitted that the statement made by her in the matrimonial court was not for publication anywhere, hence it can’t be amounted as defamation. Moreover, appellant submitted that the allegation which she made against his husband was true. It was argued by the respondent that the statements made before the court are always published in the journal of the court, adding that appellant made the same allegations before relatives and one of the friends too.

After hearing and analyzing the facts and issues, The High Court came to the conclusion that the statement made by the wife didn’t fall under any of the exceptions of defamation and held appellant guilty for defamation. Justice H.B. Prabhakara Sastry of The High Court set aside the punishment of one-month imprisonment along with Rs 5000 fine given in Family Court by adjusting it only to a fine of Rs. 15000.


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