defaming in public


Now the media has started to question the aquced in public by way of giving the truth.Has media the right to disclose the judicial news to public,

Dy Director

what do you mean by judicial news. how is it related to defamatiion


practicing advocate

It is better to disclose the juidicial news to the public.  It must



The critism of a judicial decision in good faith is not considered Contempt of Court as per Contempt of Court Act 1971.Here is the relevant sections-


4. Fair and accurate report of Judicial proceeding not contempt

Subject to the provisions contained in section 7, a person shall not be guilty of contempt of court for publishing a fair and accurate report of a judicial proceeding or any stage thereof.


Reading s. 4 with the provision of s. 7 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, it is clear that what is meant by the words “judicial proceedings” is day to day proceeding of the court. Assuming though not granting that it is capable of a wider construction, it only permits a publication of “fair and accurate” report of a judicial proceeding.—Subash Chandra v. S.M. Agarwal 1984 CrLJ 481

Before a party to a litigation may be heard in support of its case, it must punge itself of the contempt that tends to impede the course of justice by the contempt that has to be punged should be an admitted or proved contempt and not merely an alleged contempt.—Arun Tandon v. Insurance Co. Ltd. 1983 Cr.LJ 459

5. Fair criticism of judicial act not contempt

A person shall not be guilty of contempt of court for publishing any fair comment on the merits of any case which has been heard and finally decided.


Judges and courts are not unduly sensitive or touchy to fair and reasonable criticism of their judgments fair comments even if outspoken but made without maturity or attempting to impair the administration of justice and made in good faith in proper language do not attract any punishment for contempt of court.—In re Roshan Lal Ahuja 1993 Supp 4 SCC 446

In a democracy fair criticism of the working of all the organs of State should be welcome and would in fact promote the interests of democratic functioning. Sec. 5 of the Act evidently enacted with a view to secure the right of fair criticism provides that a person shall not be guilty of contempt of court for publishing any fair comment on the merits of the case which has been heard and finally decided. This does not mean that the right to commit for any contempt by scandalizing the court has become obsolete. The question would still be whether the publication alleged to be offending is by way of fair comment on the merits of the case.—Vincent Panikulangara v. Gopal Kurup 1982 CrLJ 2094

In the case of issuance of mere notice of contempt, the right of hearing cannot be denied. Refusing a right of hearing to a party against whom merely a notice for contempt has been issued is fraught with grave injstice.—Arun Tendan v. Insurance Co. Ltd. 1983 Cr LJ 459


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