Criminal defamation should be retained as offence: Law Commission

Jurisprudence around criminal defamation holds the essence of protecting one's reputation and its facets, the panel says

Representative image of a hand holding a judge's gavel, with the scales of justice in the background (photo: National Herald archives)
Representative image of a hand holding a judge's gavel, with the scales of justice in the background (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

The Law Commission has recommended that criminal defamation should be retained as an offence within the scheme of criminal laws in India.

In its report on the law on criminal defamation, the panel asserted that it is important to keep in mind that the right to reputation flows from Article 21 of the Constitution, and that being a facet of the right to life and personal liberty, it needs to be "adequately protected" against defamatory speech and imputations.

"Reputation is something which can't be seen and can only be earned. It's an asset which is built in a lifetime and destroyed in seconds. The whole jurisprudence around the law on criminal defamation has the essence of protecting one's reputation and its facets," the panel said.

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