Any deliberate, false communication—spoken or written—on any online platform, or any publication of a false statement—that can damage an individual’s reputation, diminish their self-respect, undermine their dignity, undermine their confidence, or harm their character in the public or social sphere is known as Defamation. In addition to statements made orally or in writing, defamation also applies to statements posted online that have the potential to harm a person’s reputation or dignity. This has psychological impacts on the person.

One of the worst types of cybercrime in the world is cyberdefamation. A person is more severely damaged mentally as a result. Global society has undergone a significant change as a result of technological growth and development. The Internet has made our lives easier in every way, whether it be through communication or access to information. On the other hand, there are occasions when it can also result in waste. Online conversations, audio notes, photos, and other forms of communication have made it easier and cheaper than ever to communicate. This has also made defamation and cybercrime more prevalent.

The ways  through which one can transmit the defamatory statement.

One is through slander and other through libel.

  • Libel is committed through written or visual means. Its nature is permanent.. It can therefore be claimed that it will endure for as long as the graffiti, statue, or image does.
  • Slander can also be used to defame someone. Slander is described as temporary or non-permanent in this context. Defamation is therefore regarded to have occurred in this instance and to have persisted for the duration of the comment or conduct.

Requirements of Defamation: Defamation is made up of the following elements:

  • The words must be defamatory– Defamatory statements or words are ones that harm someone’s reputation. Reputation and dignity are damaged when a person’s standing in society as a whole is reduced, when they are shunned by others or when they are ignored by them. The statement is defamatory if they find it to be dishonourable, degrading, ridiculous, or offensive
  • The defamatory words, should directly or indirectly refer to the person defamed- The victim of a defamation must be able prove that the remarks or statement were directed at them in order to pursue legal action. In other words, the defamatory comment was constructed so that the person who was being criticised could fairly assume that it was directed at them.
  • Publication of the words by any medium should take place- Defamation will not be constituted unless defamatory statement or material is published.  Publication does not necessarily imply newspaper or pamphlet distribution. It qualifies as publishing if it is made known to others, even if it is only one person who is not the victim of the defamation. However, if a false statement is contained in an envelope is not a publication.

Problems and issues in Cyber Defamation:

Our tremendously increasing dependency on the internet for the social networking sites have created several legal issues in the country. The biggest issue in the above context is the Defamation. In the Matter of Defamation, the biggest issue can be finding out the person who is responsible for defaming the reputation of an individual and tarnishing the dignity on social media. This can include defamatory messages on posts on blogs, twitter, Business sites, even text messages. There is no track of the accused  because they might be transparent or may choose to keep their names or identities nameless to protect themselves.

Thus this becomes a difficult task to determine the person who has published the statement. It becomes difficult to track their information like location, name, IP address, or E-mail address because they never give the correct information. The moment the defamatory statement is published it gets circulated and also read by a large number of people causing damage to a person against whom it has been made.


The Indian Penal Code 1860 contains the provisions pertaining to the crime of cyberslander.

  1. Section 499 – Defamation

Anyone who makes or publishes any imputation about another person with the intent to harm that person’s reputation or with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that such imputation will do so, whether through spoken or written words, signs, or other visible representations, is said to be defaming that person. The punishment for defamation is given in Section 500 2 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.


  1. Section 469 – Forgery for purpose of harming reputation

Anyone who commits forgery with the intent to damage another party’s reputation or with knowledge that it would likely be used for that purpose faces a fine and a term of up to three years in jail of either kind.

  1. Section 503 – Criminal Intimidation

Criminal intimidation occurs when someone threatens another with harm to their person, reputation, or property, or to the person or reputation of someone in whom they have an interest, with the intent to alarm that person, to get him to do something he is not legally required to do, or to refrain from doing something he is legally allowed to do, in order to avoid carrying out the threat.

“While reading a case, I discovered a comparable instance of defamation where the spouse(Husband) was a director in a reputable business and had a respectable reputation in society. The Husband and wife were divorced under certain personal circumstances. Therefore, after the divorced decree was passed the wife has made defamatory statement against the husband on LinkedIn. She made a false statement against her husband which tarnished his reputation and his dignity was at stake. The wife did this heinous task just to satisfy her fraudulent demands and extort money from his husband even after divorce. This Defamatory statement harmed entire Respect, dignity, confidence in the Company where he was employed, and moreover it also tarnished his character not only in social domain but also in the Society.”

 Loopholes which needs attention:

Every other element has a lacuna or a gap in it. Similar gaps must exist in internet or technology, which must be bridged to prevent disparagement.

  • Shift or movement of content: The main flaw in this context is that, in the Indian context, which has a strong traditional and cultural heritage, the effectiveness of the material and movement is so immediate that, once one website is blocked, the content still gets to another website. This is the fundamental flaw that prevents the government from offering security to the victims who become involved in the aforementioned situation.
  • Technical expediency of the censorship and filtering of Defamatory contents: Finding the malicious website that has to be stopped, which is spreading misinformation and creating victims, is always challenging throughout this procedure. Data is leaked as a result, and user privacy is also compromised.
  • Scrutiny/Surveillance : A significant portion of users strongly criticise scrutiny because it involves their personal information. The most crucial component of any website is scrutiny since each person has a right to the privacy and security of their personal information. This will only be possible if the websites are properly monitored and the scrutiny is going place.

The rate of cyberdefamation is particularly high in today’s generation. On a variety of online platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp Messenger, etc., people disparage other people. One’s reputation and goodwill in the industry in which they work are particularly suffering from this. This is highlighted in some of the case studies below:

  • Kalandi Charan Lenka vs State of Odisha

Unknown indecent texts arrived in the victim’s mobile device while she was attending college, putting her character in question. Before this, filthy communications harming the informant’s character had also arrived through her father’s cell phone from an unidentified mobile number. After reading the message, her father felt regret and questioned the informant-victim about the incident. The victim’s mental state was so disrupted by seeing these offensive texts. The victim girl’s character was then portrayed via written letters that were sent to her father in the years 2015 and 2016. These letters contained sexual remarks and were sent with the intention of demeaning the victim girl. The messages don’t just have an impact on the affected girl’s personality. In order to offend the victim girl’s modesty, a false Facebook account was made in her name, and in the Facebook, the victim girl’s modified naked photos were posted.

  • Rajiv Dinesh Gadkari vs Smt. Nilangi Rajiv Gadkari

After receiving a letter from the appellant requesting a consent divorce, she continued to be harassed by him by having filthy images and text posted on his website. As a result, she filed a defamation case under the Cyber Crime Act, and the offence has since been recorded against him. In response, the respondent wife filed the aforementioned petition on the aforementioned grounds. She requested for the restitution of the items as well as maintenance at a monthly amount of Rs. 75,000. The appellant created obscene content for her profiles on many websites, published photos of her taken during her visit to Hawaii Island that he owned, and frequently visited these websites. In light of the aforementioned, she had  to alert the online hosting businesses whose websites had obscene profiles, text, image, and photo uploads; as a result, the content was removed by the web hosting firms.


 Technology has changed with the passage of time, becoming both a blessing and a curse for humanity.

Internet communication has become simple. The ease of communicating has significantly improved. However, there is a trap in such communications. The internet has become a vital platform for numerous cyber crimes, including defamation, due to the ease with which data and information may be transferred across it. Some people publish defamatory material online despite being too careless to recognise the lines dividing it from non-defamatory material. People need to be informed about cyberspace and online ethics. Although this won’t lessen crime, it will raise people’s awareness of moral principles and protect them from cybercrime traps.



  1. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1759047/
  2. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/73866393/








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