Sometimes we often come across publications or statements made by a party against a person, a group, an organization etc. Well, maybe the statement is the truth or it may be that they intentionally want to ruin the other party. Defamation is a word used to describe an act of making a false statement regarding a person or a group of persons, or an organization, or may be a country, in order to damage his good reputation or lowering him in public.
Defamation of character is done intentionally by majority of people because of their personal enmity towards the defamed party or that the defamer may gain something in some way or the other in doing so. Defaming someone may be done through writing, printing, speeches, publications, body language, and signs etc.
The forms of defamation are mainly classified depending on their medium or means in which the defamatory statement id communicated.
We can divide defamation mainly in two types
- Libel is the type of defaming someone, a group, an organization, a country etc. with the help of printed or written words. In order words, if the publication of the statement is in the permanent form, then it is classified as a libel. Such defamation can be generally visible to our eye like the items in writing, pictures, email, effigies, or statutes etc. In some case, broadcasting of statement through radio communication is also treated as a permanent form according to Section 3 of the act.
- Libel is regarded as an actionable per se, meaning that the plaintiff need not prove if any specific damage has been done that is calculable in terms of the specific amount of money. According to this law, it presumes that a specific damage might be resulted when one’s reputation is assaulted
- The other form of defamation is known as slander. Such type of defamation generally comes in a transient or temporary form. The publications are done through speeches, spoken words, body and sign languages or gestures. It is not an actionable per se. The plaintiff requires an actual prove for a special damage so that he may be able to succeed his claim.
- This type of defamation is mostly actionable only if you have proof of actual damage. There are some cases in slander where we need not provide proof of actual damage like the charges of the criminal offence in which the offence can be punishable by imprisonment but a definite offence doesn’t need to be mentioned. In addition, the accusation of an infectious or a contagious disease, the accusation of adultery or unchastity to any girl or woman and the accusation of incompetence or unfitness in any trade, profession, or business held by the claimant.
There is a notable difference in the way of proving in the case of both slander and libel, if the plaintiff happens to be a public figure and not a private figure. The private figure only needs to prove that the statement is an act of negligence but need not proof the actual malice thing. Proving in the case of a public figure is rather more difficult.