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Ritwika Ghosh   05 October 2016

Right to reputation

Can right to reputation be considered a fundamental right?

Can right to reputation be harmed due to someone's else's actions (NOT WORDS, SPOKEN OR WRITTEN)?


 6 Replies

adv.bharat @ PUNE (Lawyer)     05 October 2016

1)No it is not FR.

2) Yes it can be harmed by any way not necessary by written word or spoken.

If u appreciate my answer then will you give THANKS on my LCI profile.

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Ritwika Ghosh   05 October 2016

But according to Subramanian Swamy v UOI, it has been considered as a part of Article 21.

Refer case law Shantaveri Gopala Gowda vs State of Karnataka

Ms.Usha Kapoor (CEO)     06 October 2016

Right  to reputation is a Fundamental Right and the supreme court has  in a number of decisions has said that /right to Life  and Personal Liberty under Article  21 of the constituion includes Right to  Reputation.See the below given information. If you appreciate my answer please click the  thank  you buttonon this forum.\The information pertains to various rulings of the supreme court.

Right to Reputation

Reputation is an important part of one’s life. It is one of the finer graces of human civilization that makes life worth living. The Supreme Court referring to D.F. Marion v. Minnie Davis[xiii] in Smt. Kiran Bedi v. Committee of Inquiry[xiv] held that “good reputation was an element of personal security and was protective by the Constitution, equally with the right to the enjoyment of life, liberty and property. The court affirmed that the right to enjoyment of life, liberty and property. The court affirmed that the right to enjoyment of private reputation was of ancient origin and was necessary to human society.”

The same American Decision has also been referred to in the case of State of Maharashtra v. Public Concern of Governance Trust[xv], where the Court held that good reputation was an element of personal security and was protected by the constitution, equally with the right to the enjoyment of life, liberty and property.

It has been held that the right equally covers the reputation of a person during and after his death. Thus, any wrong action of the state or agencies that sullies the reputation of a virtuous person would certainly come under the scope of Art. 21.

In State of U.P. v. Mohammaad Naim[xvi], succinctly laid down the following tests while dealing the question of expunction of disgracing remarks against a person or authority whose conduct comes in consideration before a court of law:

  • whether the party whose conduct is in question is before the court or has an opportunity of explaining or defending himself
  • whether there is evidence on record bearing on that conduct justifying the remarks
  • whether it is necessary for the decision of the case, as an integral part thereof, to animadvert on that conduct. It has also been recognized that judicial pronouncements must be judicial in nature, and should not normally depart from sobriety, moderation and reserve

In State of Bihar v. Lal Krishna Advani[xvii], a two-member commission of inquiry appointed to inquire into the communal disturbances in Bhaglapur district on 24th October, 1989, made some remarks in their report, which impinged upon the reputation of the respondent as a public man, without affording him an opportunity of being heard. The Apex Court ruled that it was amply clear that one was entitled to have and preserve one’s reputation and one also had the right to protect it. The court further said that in case any authority , in discharge of its duties fastened upon it under the law, transverse into the realm of personal reputation adversely affecting him, it must provide a chance to him to have his say in the matter. The court observed that the principle of natural justice made it incumbent upon the authority to give an opportunity to the person, before any comment was made or opinion was expressed which was likely to prejudicially affect that person.


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dr g balakrishnan (advocate/counsel supreme court)     04 June 2017

Right to reputation is vital for uplifting Art 21 (Life ).so it is fundamental ; if not how can you get Law of Torts activated.

Sheshan Pradhan   25 December 2019

Hope this will help you guys in Article 21 of Indian constitution

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