The Supreme Court has emphasised that Section 499 Exception 8 indicates that making an accusation against someone in good faith to lawful authorities regarding the subject matter cannot be considered Defamation.

“Exception 8 to Section 499 clearly indicates that it is not a defamation to prefer in good faith an accusation against any person to any of those who have lawful authority over that person with regard to the subject-matter of accusation. Even otherwise by perusing the allegations made in the complaint, we are satisfied that no case for defamation has been made out”, the Bench comprising Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra observed.

Advocate Satyajit A Desai appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Nishant Ramakantrao Katneshwarkar appeared for the Respondent.

In this case, a Criminal Appeal was filed challenging the impugned order of the High Court, wherein the Court rejected the petition filed by the Appellant. The Trial Court ordered the issue of process for the offence of defamation. As per the facts of the case, the Appellant filed a complaint before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) alleging that Respondent no. 2 (original complainant) had established a shop by encroaching upon some land. The Appellant had further stated that such a shop was creating a nuisance. While the proceedings before the SDM were ongoing, Respondent no. 2 filed a complaint under the offence of Defamation, on the basis of the averments made by the appellant in his written complaint addressed to the SDM.

The Court observed that the main issue to be ascertained was whether the allegations made in the complaint addressed to the SDM make out the offence under Section 500 IPC or not. The Court noted that since the case is covered under the ambit of Section 499 exception 8, the case for defamation cannot be sustained.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Appeal and set aside the impugned order of the High Court.

Cause Title: Kishore Balkrishna Nand v State of Maharashtra & Anr (2023 INSC 675)

Click here to read/download the Order