Libel and slander under law of torts

Libel and Slander under Law of Torts


A man’s reputation is viewed as significant property and each man has a privilege to secure his reputation. This privilege is recognized as an inherent individual right and is a jus in rem i.e., a right good against all persons in the world. Defamation alludes to any oral or composed assertion made by an individual which harms the reputation of someone else. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, defamation signifies “The offence of injuring a person’s character, fame, or reputation by false and malicious statements”. On the off chance that the proclamation made is written and is distributed or published, at that point it is “libel“. In the event that the slanderous assertion is spoken, at that point it is a “slander“.



Criminal defamation is the demonstration of defaming or criticizing an individual by perpetrating a wrongdoing or offense. For criminal defamation, the person can always be made liable or party prosecuted.  It is concentrated in IPC as a criminal act.


Civil defamation includes no criminal offense, however because of this sort of defamation, you could sue the individual to get a lawful compensation for the criticism. It is concentrated under law of torts for example as a civil wrong.


ENGLISH LAW– Basically as a result of historical reasons, English law separates activities for defamation into Libel and Slander.

Libel is a portrayal made in a lasting structure or permanent form like composition, film, picture and so on. For e.g., X printed some commercial saying Y is bankrupt however Y was not accordingly it was portrayal in a particular structure.

Slander, then again is the distribution of an abusive articulation or defamatory statement in transient structure like expressed words or motions. For e.g., D inquiries the virtuousness of B in a meeting, D is offensive.

Youssoupoff v. MGM Pictures Ltd

The offended party (herself a Princess) whined that she could be related to the character Princess Natasha in the film Rasputin, the Mad Monkey. On the premise that the film recommended that, by reason of her relationship with Princess Natasha, she had been lured or seduced by Rasputin. The respondent fought that if the film showed any relations among Rasputin and Natasha it demonstrated an assault of Natasha and not an seduction.

It was held that, in a film, not just the photographic piece of it is viewed as libel yet in addition the speech which synchronizes with it moreover. Slesser LJ said that criticism could incorporate words which cause an individual to be evaded or maintained a strategic distance from not possibly is the issue defamatory on the off chance that it brings the offended party into scorn, derision, or hatred by reason of some ethical ruin on (the plaintiff’s) part, yet additionally on the off chance that it will in general make the offended party be disregarded and avoided and that with no ethical dishonour on (the plaintiff’s) part. Along these lines she was granted with damages.


The difference between libel and slander are as follows:

Firstly, Libel is routed to the eye while slander is addressed to the ear.

Secondly, In English Criminal law, just libel has been perceived as an offense, slander is no offense.  In Indian law, both libel and slander are criminal offenses under Section 499 and 500 of IPC.

Thirdly, In case of libel, the defamatory statement is made in some lasting and obvious structure, for example, composing or writing, printing, pictures and effigies. On the other hand, in case of slander, the defamatory statement is made by expressed words or some other passing structure, regardless of whether noticeable or audible, for example, signals, murmuring or such different things.

Finally, libel  is actionable per se (in itself) i.e., without evidence of genuine damage whereas, slander  is actionable just on confirmation of real harm.

In D.P. Choudhary v. Kumari Manjulata

The offended party Manjulata around 17 years old had a place with a recognized family and perused B.A. There was a publication of a news thing in a neighborhood local daily Dainik Navjyoti that last night she fled with a boy named Kamlesh, yet she had gone to go to night classes. The news thing was false and carelessly distributed with absolute recklessness. She was stunned and scorned by others. It was held that the activity was defamatory and she was entitled with the harms of Rs 10000/-  via general damages.


There are two kinds of slander: slander and slander per se. In the primary sort of slander, the plaintiff should demonstrate the defendant made a defamatory statement  in any event to an other individual (i.e., the basic defamation components) and that the offended party endured what are alluded to as “special damages” because of the defamation. Special damages are genuine harm like loss of clients, being terminated, or some other monetary damage.

A slander per se claim doesn’t need that the offended party demonstrate special damages. This is on the grounds that slander per se claims include classes of defamatory statements that are ventured to be harming to the plaintiff. While the classifications may change a little from state to state, and advance throughout the long term, the absolute most regular slander per se classifications are:

  1. Ascribing criminal conduct to the plaintiff.
  2. Saying that the offended party has specific kinds of transmittable diseases, and
  3. Any harmful statement about the offended party’s profession or business.


On the off chance that the defamatory statement falls into the class of libel, the plaintiff just necessities to prove the fundamental components, i.e.,

  • the litigant published a defamatory statement about the plaintiff and
  • others were presented to the statement. There are no extra requirements in light of the fact that the law assumes that once the publication of a defamatory statement has been made in written or different configurations, the statement will stay in the open arena i.e., in the public sphere for quite a while and keep on doing harm.


Defamation is tort coming about because of an injury to ones reputation. It is the act of hurting the reputation of another by offering an untrue statement to third individual. It is an attack of the interest in reputation. The law of defamation should shield individuals’ reputation from uncalled attack. Practically speaking its fundamental impact is to hinder free speech and shield influential individuals from scrutiny. Defamation law permits individuals to sue the individuals who state or distribute untrue and malignant remarks. When done in writing or expressed terms then it is libel and when done through gestures or words it is slander.



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