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Susmit Das   07 March 2023

Defamation during probation period

i worked for a company for 3 months under probation during which two of my reporting managers misbehaved with me and were partial against me in terms of performance review. There is enough evidence of abusive texts over Whatsapp and non-cooperation in general. Based on a review meeting in which the two RMs and two HRs were present, my managers noted that my performance was unsatisfactory on the job and have also alleged that i consumed illegal (narcotic) substances which have jeopardized the safety of fellow teammates, which is a lie. They have not given any solid evidence of the same and have themselves admitted that they do not have any concrete proof to base their claims. Even then, based on these outputs, the HR team decided to not go ahead with keeping me as a permanent employee and asked me to resign from the job. I forcefully did but the next day also wrote a complaint to the HR about my manager's bias, attaching screenshots of abusive language on whatsapp that he sent me and also complained about defamation that led to a biased review. HR has however not considered this and is still accepting my Manager's review as true, giving all sorts of excuses. I have also given a complaint to the Disciplinary Action Committee of the company. 

Should i file a defamation complaint as it caused damage to personal and professional reputation and led to loss of livelihood? What is the right course of action ? please help


 7 Replies

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     08 March 2023

Defamation is a word ofen used by people.


For rpoving allegation of defamation one needs to prove.


1.      Defendant used an expression

2.      Expression was for complainant.

3.      The expression was conveyed to a third person

4.      Expression lowered complainat’s respect in the eye of third person



If you cannot prove that the allegation was false then keep quite.

Susmit Das   08 March 2023

yep...i have challenged the review by submitting a complaint to the DAC and have attached screenshots of the abusive language...i've also alleged that the bias has caused a low image of me in front of the company. the allegation was also false as the manager has not furnished any solid proof that i've consumed narcotics or even filed a complaint about the same to the company when he made the allegations


Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     08 March 2023

has any higher authority so far adjudivated that what they said was false.


Susmit Das   11 March 2023


yes....i just got a mail last night from the Disciplinary Action Committee (DAC) of the company. They have unsubstantiated the claims made by my manager and have dismissed any allegations against me. They have also asked my manager to formally apologize, which he has. However, the head HR called me and said that they are accepting my resignation based on the DAC report, which was a shock to me because ideally, it shouldve spoken for itself. what should be my next course of action?

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     12 March 2023

You need to share papers for forming a view.

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     12 March 2023

Your query is:

".......Should i file a defamation complaint as it caused damage to personal and professional reputation and led to loss of livelihood?"


As a principle of equity, every man is entitled to have his reputation preserved intact. A man's reputation is his property and possibly more valuable than other properties, and any words calculated to cause harm to his reputation affords a good cause of action.

 Odger says in his book on Defamation that "No man may disparage or destroy the reputation of another. Every man has a right to have his good name maintained unimpaired. Words which produce, in any given case, appreciable injury to the reputation of another are called defamatory, and defamatory words if false are actionable."

In Miller v. Thompson 1874 LR 9 CP 118, attempt is made to define defamation as exposing a person to contempt, ridicule, or public hatred or to prejudice him in the way of office, profession or trade.

Blackburn and George, in their Elements of Law of Torts, define defamation as a tort of publishing a statement which tends to bring a person into hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to lower his reputation in the eyes of right-thinking members of society generally, or which tends to make them shun or avoid that person.

Faulks Committee in England in 1875 defines Defamation as "Defamation shall consist of the publication to the third party of matter which in all circumstances would be likely to affect a person adversely in the estimation of reasonable people generally."

To claim that a particular statement is defamatory there should be publication to a third party and such publication should be of such a nature as is likely to cause appreciable injury to a person's reputation. Defamatory words, if false are actionable. False defamatory words , if written and published, constitute a libel, if spoken, a slander. In libel, the defamatory statement is made in some permanent and visible form in writing or otherwise recorded, such as, printing, typing, pictures, photographs, caricatures, effigies. In slander, the defamatory statement or representation is expressed by speech or its equivalents, that is, in some other transitory form, whether visible or audible, such as, a nod, wink, smile, hissing, the finger-language of the deaf and dumb, gestures or inarticulate but significant sounds.

Accordingly did you make out any case of defamation (whether civil or criminal)?? Introspect yourself and find answer to your question. 

Further your query is

"What is the right course of action ?"


Consult and engage a local prudent lawyer with relevant records for analysing facts and circumstances, professional advise and necessary proceeding.

Susmit Das   12 March 2023

thanks all for your prudent replies

UPDATE: i was asked to resign but since i refused, they went ahead with claiming that the leadership team was not satisfied with my performance, and terminated my employment contract with 7 days severance pay. note that the leadership team did not review me at any point in my career in this company, nor were mails forwarded to these people. As such, it deems they have been completely unaware of these developments. Is it legal, considering the DAC report which dismisses the claims of my supervisors against me, to terminate employment ? Can i sue for unethical termination and lack of clarity?

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