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How to Draft a Legal Notice for Defamation?

If a person is publicly insulted, they can always claim compensation for the damage done to their reputation by sending a legal notice for defamation. A defamation legal notice is also a warning before dragging the matter to the court. Therefore no reply to legal notice for defamation can result in more harm. To know how, you can find many reply sample of legal notice for defamation online. To understand how to draft legal notice for defamation, you can even skip below to the video.
Written by:
Abhishek Thakkar
Published on
9th Sep, 2019

But when to send a defamation legal notice? Well, in case someone publishes anything harming your reputation. 

The victim can send legal notice defamation against a man under Section 499 of IPC seeking remedy under the criminal law or under the Code of Civil Procedure (pdf).

Since only lawyers know what exactly a legal notice defamation contents includes. You can even find a sample of legal notice for defamation here.

To elaborate you more on this, let's get to know the term "defamation" first.

Since there are two types under which defamation is classified. So one has to be very clear while stating the way of defamation has been caused. Especially when your lawyer is drafting the notice.

When Can You Send a Legal Notice for Defamation?

Usually, in India, you can send a legal notice for defamation mainly in two scenarios. So, when one, or more than one person, tarnish/diminish the reputation of an individual or an institution by:

  • using defamatory words, gestures or other transitory forms, then it's called defamation by slander.
  • writing or printing something, then it's called defamation by libel.

Who Can Send Legal Notice for Defamation in India?

In that context, you should know that in India, there is no such specific provision of laws which tells who can file the suit for defamation.

But there have been many answers to this question by different precedents of the Supreme Court.

In the Apex Court’s decision, in respect of an offence of defamation, only the individual can take legal action, not his/her parents, any other family members or friends.

So if you're wondering about can legal notice be defamation related? The answer is YES.

You can always take the help of law and stop such propensity harming your reputation or character. So, for any legal matters, you can always get the best legal advice online through MyAdvo!

Important Elements Required for Sending a Defamation Notice

If you want to make allegations of a legal notice amount to defamation then before doing so you must look for some specific elements in the act of the person whom you are planning to sue for defamation.

The essential elements are as follows:

  • The defamatory statement must be false: If accusations on any person for making defamatory remarks are true facts, then no defamation suit will rely on.
  • No privileged statement will come under the preview of defamation: There are various situations where a statement might be protected by privilege. (e.g., if the statement repeats material or facts from a court proceeding or other public documents, then one can say that the statement is privileged. According to the law as well, a privileged statement cannot be brought in the defamation suit.)
  • Opinion is NOT a defamatory statement: Making any remarks in the form of opinion by a person be it true or false; irrespective of the fact, one can't treat opinion as a defamatory remark.
  • The statement must be published: A statement will only come under defamation if it is read or heard by someone other than who remarks. (e.g., if anyone abuses a person in private message, then it's not defamation. But, if anyone abuses in a group inbox, then it will be defamation.)
  • The statement must actually cause reputational damage: Defamation suit will not stand if the person accused carries a bad character and is notorious in nature.

The statement must be believable in general prudence. If a person with normal prudent cannot seriously believe the statement was true, it does not constitute defamation at all.            

Relevant Statutes and Court Dealing with Defamation

The legal notice of defamation is mainly governed by the following laws:

  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (CPC)
  • Indian Penal Code, 1862

Reputation is an important an integral part in the life of an individual and the right to reputation is considered as a natural right.

In the Indian Constitution also, it acts as a Fundamental right and guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Although the Indian constitution has secured the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a), but the freedom is not absolute and simultaneously the Constitution has imposed reasonable restrictions in exercising this right in the interest of:

  • the security of the state,
  • foreign relation,
  • public order,
  • decency,
  • morality,
  • contempt of court, and
  • defamation

In India, defamation can be both civil wrong or criminal wrong. Defamation is a tort under Civil Law. A person can opt for civil remedy by filing a suit for Defamation and Compensation depending on the amount of the claim for compensation. One can file the suit either before:

  • the Court of Civil Judge Junior Division, or
  • the Munsif, or
  • the Court of Civil Judge Senior Division, or
  • the Sub-Judge.

In this suit, the plaintiff usually claims for compensation in terms of money due to his/her loss of reputation. There is another right available for the victim before the Criminal Court.

If anyone does anything which covers the definition of defamation under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, then that person will face punishment under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

Thus, a criminal procedure can begin against them before the Judicial Magistrate having First Class rank.

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How to Draft a Legal Notice for Defamation?

With the help of good lawyers who is prudent and up to date in the subject matter and have experiences in handling defamation cases you can draft a legal notice for defamation.

A legal notice for defamation must contain these essential points:

  • Name, description, and place of residence of the recipient of the notice.
  • Name, description, and place of residence of the sender of the notice.
  • Details of the cause of action.
  • The relief claimed by the sender of the notice.
  • The detailed description of the incident which raised the cause of action.
  • The specific time frame within which the relief needs to be provided.

The accused person either can reply to legal notice for defamation or try to prove his innocence, in that case without giving any further reply to his reply legal notice you can straight institute the suit against him.  

Who to Ask for Drafting Legal Notice in Defamation Case?

With MyAdvo you get access to finding lawyers in India, who are expert in sending a legal notice. All you have to do is just select one that matches your criteria. We provide you with a directory of lawyers near you, who have attained great expertise in their respective legal domains. Just express your query via mail on consult@myadvo.in or simply call us at +91-9811782573 to resolve any and every kind of legal problems.