Website defamation

This query is : Resolved 

12 October 2012

There is a local yellow pages website where a user has posted (angry, but no abusive language) comments about the poor quality of service by a business, on a page of the website giving details about that business. The business owner asked the website to remove the comment, but the website refused to - though the website deleted a sentence from the comment (that had 3-4 sentences) that directly called the business owner nasty names (though not abusive).

The business owner then sent the website a legal notice asking the site to pay him Rs. 10 lakhs for defamation and insert ads in all national newspapers apologizing, else face a lawsuit.

Where does the website stand? As in, what are courts likely to rule in such a case? Thank you for your time.

Adv.R.P.Chugh (Expert)
12 October 2012

In such a case the website being an intermediary and not the creator of such information, normally it does not stand liable for the content, however if a request is made to the website for taking it off it has to be catered to within 72 hrs (please confirm from IT Act (intermediary) rules, if the website does not respond - it loses its immunity from prosecution for defamation and can be sued for defamation civilly or/and criminally.

Good Luck !

J K Agrawal (Expert)
13 October 2012

It does not matter where the website situate. The jurisdiction is there where you sustained loss of reputation.

V R SHROFF (Expert)
13 October 2012

The author can be sued.(Website already removed defamatory sentences as per ur instructions)

Guest (Expert)
13 October 2012

First of all, you being a legal analyst, please write what are your own views about that?

Secondly, your information is of academic nature, as you have not mentioned, who is the owner of the website and how the buniess owner is concerned with the website if the website owner is separate than the business owner? Better come forward with detail about the nature of objectionable contents.

Raj Kumar Makkad (Expert)
15 November 2012

This query is highly academic requiring no interference.

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