SC⚖ Upholds Criminal Defamation 📜Laws

  |   India News

Rahul Gandhi Arvind Kejriwal, Subramanian Swamy and others had challenged the constitutional validity of sections 499 & 500 of the Indian🇮🇳 Penal Code providing for criminal defamation. The Supreme Court⚖ upheld the laws, to protect the individual's right to reputation. The court declared that the right to free speech🗣 is not absolute and that reputation cannot be "crucified in the altar of free speech". The SC felt that Sections 499 and 500 are necessary for the State to do its duty to protect🛡 the dignity and reputation of its citizens. The judgement mentioned that free speech cannot rob a person's right to approach the court, to protect his reputation.
Petitions📑 from Swamy, Kejri & RaGa argued that criminal defamation is a colonial law and is being used by political rivals to silence😷 criticism. They also asked why defamation, declared a civil offence by other countries, is liable to prosecution and penal punishment in India🇮🇳. The SC simply said that unlike other countries a civil suit lasts longer in India and that criminal defamation provides deterrence😏. The 2⃣-judge Bench refused the Centre’s repeated pleas🙏 during the court hearings to refer the question of constitutional validity of criminal defamation to a Constitution Bench.

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