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CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW

UNIVERSITY

Project Report On

‘REMDIES FOR DEFAMATION’

(Law of Torts)

Submitted to: Submitted by:


Mrs. SUSHMITA SINGH KESHAV SHARMA
TEACHER ASSOCIATE Roll No: 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
S.No Topic Page No.
Research Methodology
a) Method of Research
b) Sources of Data
1
c) Method of Writing
4-5
d) Hypothesis
e) Review of literature

2 What is Defamation 6
3 Essentials for defamation
6

4 Types of defamation
1) Slander
2) Libel 7-9

5 Who can claim for defamation


1) Groups which cannot make a defamation claim
2) Time limit for filing a defamation claim 10-11

6 Remedies for defamation


11-12

7 Types of remedies
12
8 Damages 13-18
9 Injunction 18-23

9 Retraction 24-25

10 Conclusion and suggestion 26

11 Bibliography 27
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The present project on the “Remedies for defamation” has been able to get its final
shape with the support and help of people from various quarters. My sincere thanks goes
to all the members without whom the study could not have come to its present state. I
am proud to acknowledge gratitude to the individuals during my study and without
whom the study may not be completed. I have taken this opportunity to thank those who
genuinely helped me.

With immense pleasure, I express my deepest sense of gratitude to Mrs. Sushmita Singh.,
Faculty for law of Torts, Chanakya National Law University for helping me in my
project. I am also thankful to the whole Chanakya National Law University family that
provided me all the material I required for the project. Not to forget thanking to my
parents without the co-operation of which completion of this project would not had been
possible.

I have made every effort to acknowledge credits, but I apologies in advance for any omission
that may have inadvertently taken place.

Last but not least I would like to thank Almighty whose blessing helped me to complete the
project.

Name: Keshav Sharma


Roll No.: 2022 ,
Semester: first
Stream BBA.LLB
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Method of Research
The researcher has adopted a purely doctrinal method of research. The researcher has
made extensive use of the library at the Chanakya National Law University and also the
internet sources.

Sources of Data

The following secondary sources of data have been used in the project-

1. Cases
2. Books
3. Internet

Method of Writing

The method of writing followed in the course of this research paper is primarily analytical.

Hypothesis

Before proceeding for this research paper the research assumed that the defamation could be treated
both as a civil wrong and a criminal offence.
Review Of Literature

1. Bangia R.K., Law of Torts

This book deals with the general concepts defining the ambits and
limitations of the project. It further gives a proper insight to the various case
laws. It discusses the nature and scope of basic concepts to tort. It
distinguishes between tort and crime, and tort and other civil wrongs. The
essentials of law of torts can be easily understood by studying this book .

2. Singh Avtar and Kaur Harpreet


The book has been conceived and brought forth as a short text-material for
guidance of students as also for any member of the general public who is
interested in having a casual acquaintance with this fascinating branch of
law. It is a remedial subject. The courts are ready to mould it to provide
remedy to any injured person particularly where there is no statutory
coverage. It is one subject which is approximating the law to the legal ideal
that wherever there is a wrong there must be a remedy. Every injured person
is looking for a remedy. To him it would seem that the whole colossal legal
system is a failure if his injury remains unredressed. Nothing is capable of
bringing about more social satisfaction and thereby promoting more general
public happiness than the care shown to aggrieved persons. The law of torts
being a general caretaker of social wrongs, its knowledge is important not
only to students, but also to the general public
DEFAMATION

Defamation, is the communication of a false statement that, depending on the law


of the country, harms the reputation of an individual, business product, group,
government, religion nation
Under common law to constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and
must have been made to someone other than the person defamed.
ny intentional false communication, either written or spoken, that harm
a person's reputation;decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which
a person is held; or induces disparaging,hostile, or disagreeable opinions
or feelings against a person. Defamation law tries to balance competing
interests: On the one hand, people should not ruin others' lives by telling
lies about them; but on the other hand, people should be able to speak freely
without fear of litigation over every insult, disagreement, or mistake.
Political and social disagreement is important in a free society, and we
obviously don't all share the same opinions or beliefs. For instance, political
opponents often reach opposite conclusions from the same facts, and
editorial cartoonists often exaggerate facts to make their point.

ESSENTIALS FOR DEFAMATION1

An obvious question arises about essentials of defamation under Indian Law.


Because, whenever defamation is agitated before any Civil Court, the proof has to
travel around certain essentials. Therefore, it becomes necessary to try to enlist
those essentials or requisites constituting defamation as civil wrong.
There are in general four essentials of the tort of defamation, namely –
a. There must be a defamatory statement.
b. The defamatory statement must be understood by right thinking or reasonable
minded persons as referring to the plaintiff.
c. There must be publication of the defamatory statement, that is to say, it must be
communicated to some person other than the plaintiff himself. d. In case of slander

1
www.legalserviceindia.com>legal>article>org
either there must be proof of special damages or the slander must come within the
serious classes of cases in which it is actionable per se.

TYPES OF DEFAMATION2

1) SLANDER

2) LIBEL

1) SLANDER

Slander is the oral communication of false statements that are harmful to a person's
reputation. If the statements are proven to be true, it is a complete defense to a
charge of slander. Oral opinions that don't contain statements of fact don't
constitute slander. Slander is an act of communication that causes someone to be
shamed, ridiculed, held in contempt, lowered in the estimation of the community,
or to lose employment status or earnings or otherwise suffer a damaged reputation.
Slander is a subcategory of defamation.

The basic elements of a claim of slander include;

1. a defamatory statement;

2. published to third parties; and

3. Which the speaker or publisher knew or should have known was false.
The Elements of Slander
There are two types of slander: slander and slander per se. In the first kind
of slander, the plaintiff must prove the defendant made a defamatory
statement to at least one other person (i.e. the essential defamation

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https:www.nolo.com.legal-encyclopedia
elements) and that the plaintiff suffered what are referred to as “special
damages” as a result of the defamation. Special damages are actual harm
like loss of customers, being fired, or some other financial harm.

A slander per se claim does not require that the plaintiff prove special
damages. This is because slander per se claims involve categories of
defamatory statements that are presumed to be damaging to the plaintiff.
While the categories may change a little for state to state, and evolve over
the years, some of the most common slander per se categories are:3

 Imputation of criminal conduct to the plaintiff.


 Imputation the plaintiff has certain types of communicable diseases.
 Imputation of any harmful statement about the plaintiff's profession or business
and
 Imputation of unchastity or adultery on any woman or girl .

EXAMPLE OF SLANDER LAWSUIT

In 2009, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis refused to pay billionaire casino
mogul Steve Wynn a $2 million dollar debt owed to one of Wynn’s casinos. Francis
then accused Wynn publicly of running his casinos deceptively, and that he
mentioned Francis’ debt and threatened his life in an email. Francis publicly
discussed the alleged emails in an interview on Good Morning America, stating that
Wynn planned to hit Francis over the head with a shovel and bury him in the desert.
Francis told the interviewer that he was afraid for his life.

Following the interview’s broadcast to a nation-wide audience, Wynn filed a


slander lawsuit against Francis, claiming that Francis’ false statements harmed his
reputation. At trial in 2012, Francis admitted that he had never personally read the
email he claimed contained threats, but that it had been viewed by music producer
Quincy Jones. Jones testified, however, that he had never seen such an email. The

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R.K Bangia page 147
jury found in favour of Wynn, awarding him $20 million in damages, more than
half of which was based on Francis’ interview on the television show.

2) LIBEL

Libel is an action based upon torts. Moreover, the specific laws applicable to a tort
depend upon the state with jurisdiction over the case. Generally, in order to sue for
libel, one must demonstrate that the libellous statement is not only false, but also
caused, or could potentially cause, harm to one's reputation. The statement must
also cause others to dislike, hate, or have contempt for the party against which the
statement was made. Furthermore, the law requires proof that the libellous
statement was actually published; that is, the false statement was communicated to
another person. Finally, in order to succeed in a libel lawsuit, one must demonstrate
that actual harm occurred to one's reputation or occupation as a result of the
libellous statement.

The elements of a libel suit are:

1. A defamatory statement;

2. Published to a third party;

3. Which the speaker knew or should have known was false;

4. That causes injury to the subject of the communication

EXAMPLE OF A LIBEL LAWSUIT

In March 1960, the New York Times published an advertisement titled “Heed Their
Rising Voices,” which solicited donations for the defence of Martin Luther King,
Jr. The civil rights activist was facing charges of perjury in an Alabama state court.
The published ad described actions taken against civil rights protesters, as well as
actions taken against King. Some of the actions were described inaccurately,
though none of the inaccuracies were serious.

The Montgomery Public Safety Commissioner was not mentioned by name, but he
felt that criticism of the actions of police to be defamatory to him personally. Public
officers at the time could not seek damages for libel unless they had demanded, and
been denied, a public retraction of the statement. When the Times refused to retract
its statements, the Commissioner sued the Times, as well as the four ministers
mentioned in the ad. The Commissioner won his case, and was awarded $500,000

WHO CAN CLAIM FOR DEFAMATION4


Individuals who believe they have been defamed by someone else can sue for
compensation.

Companies whose profits or reputation have been damaged can also claim. Non-
trading corporations can also claim where they can prove that their fiscal situation
has been affected, or their property damaged.

Once the 2013 Defamation Act comes into force it will be necessary for comments
to have caused 'serious harm' for them to be considered defamatory. Serious harm
equates to serious financial loss for businesses.

Compensation for defamation can sometimes be difficult to quantify – an


organization or individual could quantify the amount for which they should be
compensated if they have hard evidence of financial loss due to being defamed –
for example, if a company loses business after being defamed, or an individual
loses work, they can point to specific financial losses which occurred as a result of
being targeted by libel or slander.

However, defamation can have negative consequences in ways beyond the purely
financial – defamation can be a source of great distress and emotional turmoil for
the defamed party. General damages can be sought to compensate the claimant for
the impact on their reputation.

GROUPS WHICH CANNOT MAKE FOR DEFAMATION CLAIM

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https://www.lowontheweb.uk>who-com
Trade unions are excluded from claiming for defamation, though individuals who
are part of a union may claim if they are personally mentioned or are damaged.

Groups who are not considered to exist as an entity with legal personality cannot
claim for defamation. This means, for example, that groups of people who are
racially abused, unless they are targeted as individuals, cannot claim for
defamation.

This is because an ethnic group does not have legal personality as though it were an
entity itself and it has no legal existence separate from the individuals who
constitute it; instead the rights of the group are enshrined in each individual who
makes up a part of the whole.

If an individual from that group is targeted for specific racial abuse, they are able to
claim for defamation. Defamation is unlike other cases of compensation in that
there is no possibility of a posthumous claim on behalf of an individual. If a claim
has been begun then it will cease with the death of the claimant.

TIME LIMIT FOR FILING DEFAMATION CLAIM

A defamation claim generally has only a year from the act of slander or libel in
which to commence. Urgent legal advice should be sought regarding the time limit
applicable in a particular case.

3) REMEDIES FOR DEFAMATION5


If a defamation claim is successful the plaintiff can be awarded general or
aggravated compensatory damages or exemplary damages. Courts can issue
injunctions to prevent publication. The publisher’s retraction and apology reduces
damages. As mentioned earlier defamation is both a criminal offence and a civil
wrong. Therefore, a person aggrieved by defamation can file a plaint in the civil as
a tort or can file a complaint under IPC section 500 grants a punishment of two
years of imprisonment along with fine for defamation of a person but the fine may
vary from person to person.

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Mavrkylawofdefmation.blogspot.com
These can range from an order for compensation, an injunction to prevent further
publication and/or a voluntary apology.

The decision as to which remedy is most suitable depends on the specifics of the
claim as well as the priorities of the person who suffered the defamation.

Damages are perhaps the main means by which somebody who has been defamed
can seek redress. An example of a recent case where considerable damages have
been awarded is that of Peter CruDdas, the former Conservative co-treasurer, who
won £180,000 over allegations in the Sunday Times that he took donations in
exchange for access to David Cameron.

Injunctions have been used in cases such as that of Solicitors From Hell, a website
on which reviews of law firms from disgruntled customers were published.

A CASE LAW INVOLVING REMEDIES FOR DFAMATION

D.P. CHOUDHARY VS MANJULATA6

The plaintiff Manjulata about 17 years of age, belonged to a distinguished educated


family of Jodhpur. She was a student of B.A. There was a publication of a news
item in a local daily, Dainik Navyjyoti, dated 18/12/1997 that last night at 11 pm.
Manjulata Had run away with a boy named Kamlesh, after she went out of her
house on the pretext of night classes in her college.

The news item was untrue and was published negligently with utter irresponsibility.
She was shocked and ridiculed by persons who knew her and her marriage
prospects were adversely affected thereby.

It was held that all defamatory words are actionable per se and in such a case,
general damages will be presumed. She was held entitled to an award of Rs
10,000/- by way of general damages.

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A.I.R 1197 Raj.170
TYPES OF REMEDIES FOR DEFAMATION
1) DAMAGES

2) INTERIM INJUNCTIONS

3) RETRACTIONS

4) DAMAGES7
The law considers damage to a claimant's reputation to be sufficiently exonerated by
an award of financial damages, which means that the plaintiff cannot force the
defendant to retract or publish a repudiation of the defamation.

There are two types of damages that can be awarded: general damages, which
compensate for a loss of reputation; and special damages, which compensate any
financial loss incurred as a result of the defamation. Though financial loss may not
have occurred, a victim of libel can always be awarded damages; a victim of slander,
however, needs to prove that they have suffered as a result of the slander to be
awarded damages.

Juries are the people who decide how much the award for damages should be if the
plaintiff is successful. This at first led to a huge variance in the figures awarded,
and occasionally they can be excessive; to remedy this, judges and council are now
free to inform the jury about past awards of compensation in similar cases, and to
give them a scale from which a figure should be selected for the award of damages
The purpose of damages in tort law is to compensate the victim and seek to place
him in the position he would have been in had the tort not been committed against
him.

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https://www.lexisnexis.com>synopsis
In defamation proceedings the jury determines the amount of damages that the
claimant shall receive. As discussed in the introduction to this workbook awards are
notoriously high, although evidence suggests they may be declining. In his
evidence to the Calcutta Committee on Privacy and Related Matters (1991), Mr.
Louis Blom-Cooper QC the then Chairman of the Press Council felt that awards
were high due to the attitude of juries, he reported, "they reflect the juries'
disapproval of the improper disclosure by newspapers of intimate details of an
individual's private life

TYPES OF DAMAGES AWARDED8

1) COMPENSATORY DAMAGES

2) EXEMPLARY DAMAGES

1) COMPENSATORY DAMAGES

Compensatory damages seek as far as is possible to compensate or 'make-up' for the


damages suffered by the claimant's reputation as a result of the defamatory statement.

Within this category also falls damages to compensate the claimant for the distress
and suffering which has occurred as a result of the defamation. Where the claimant's
distress and suffering have been worsened by the defendant's subsequent conduct the
award may be increased to include 'aggravated damages', an example may be the
defendant's continued persistence of a plea of justification.

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www.lawyersclubindia.comarticles.r
Compensatory damages may also include a 'specific' element to compensate for any
particular, identifiable pecuniary loss.

2) EXEMPLARY DAMAGES

These were succinctly described by the Law Commission (Report No. 247) as
damages which "aim to punish the wrongdoer". The existence of a punitive element
within the civil law is controversial. In 1995 the Law Commission issued a
consultation paper on the future of exemplary damages, 28% of respondents were
in favour of their abolition. The Law Commission ultimately favoured retention.

There is guidance in statute and case-law as to the directions to be given to a jury to


determine the level of damages, the powers of appellate courts and the general
degree of damages, in relation to both compensatory and exemplary damages.
These matters are discussed below.

The traditional attitude of the Court of Appeal to awards of damages which were
appealed on the grounds that they were excessive was not to interfere with the
jury's decision. In Blackshaw v Lord [1983] QB 1 Fox LJ stated that the Court of
Appeal "is not entitled to seize the matter from the jury and set aside the award
merely because our opinion as to the proper amount of damages differs from that of
a jury". As such this was the position when the Court of Appeal heard Sutcliffe v
Pressdram [1991]. In that case a concession was made as it was held that an
excessive award may be set aside if it is unreasonable in the sense that no
reasonable jury could have awarded such a sum in the absence of a misdirection,
accordingly any such award would be re-assessed by a new jury. In that case an
award of £600,000 was set aside and a new trial ordered.

Under section 8 Courts and Legal Services Act, 1990 the Court of Appeal's powers
in relation to cases appealed on the grounds of excessive damages were extended to
include the power to 'substitute for the sum awarded by the jury such sum as
appears to the court to be proper'.
MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE JURY9

The Court of Appeal used this power in Rantzen v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd
[1994] where an award of £250,000 was considered excessive and an award of
£110,000 was substituted.. The Court of Appeal considered how the jury should be
directed on assessing damages and made several clear statements concerning:

1) References to awards in previous cases


2) References to awards in personal injury cases
3) Matters for consideration by the jury in assessing compensatory damages
4) Matters for consideration by the jury in assessing exemplary damages

CASE LAWS PERTAINING TO OBTAINING REMEDIES IN FORM OF DAMAGES

RAM JETHMALANI VS SUBRAMANIAM SWAMI10

While a commission of inquiry was examining the facts and circumstances relating
to the assassination of late Rajiv Gandhi the defendant a press conference alleged
the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had prior information that LTTE cadre would
make an assassination bid on life of the Late shri Rajiv Gandhi . The plaintiff of
Tamil Nadu engaged a senior counsel to represent him. In discharge of his legal
duties the counsel cross- examined the plaintiff, During the proceedings the
defendant in written conclusive submission, alleged that the plaintiff had been
receiving money from LTTE a banned organisation. It was held to be a case of
exceeding his privilege and the statement was taken to be ex facie defamatory and
that itself was held to be evidence of malice. The statement made by the defendant
against the plaintiff was held to be quite unconnected vwith and irrelevant to the
plaintiff, actual malice on part of the part of the defendant was well established.
Counting the professional standing of the plaintiff and stature in social life, the
Delhi High Court awarded damages of Rs. 5,00,000/-

S.N.M ABDI VS. PRAFULLA KUMAR MOHANTA11

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www.oxfordlawtrove.com

10
A.I.R 2006 Del.300

11
A.I.R 2002 Guwahati 75.
It was held that it is not necessary that the plaintiff need not show a tendency of
imputation to prejudice the plaintiff in eye of everyone in the community or all of
its associates. It is suffice to say to establish that the publication tends to lower him
or her in the eyes of a substantial, respectable group even though they are a
minority of the total community or of the plaintiff’s associates.
In the present case an article published in the Illustrated weekly of India made
certain allegations that the Chief Minister of Assam, Prafulla Kumar Mohanta had
misused his power and had used muscle power.
The article was held to be defamatory in nature and the plaintiff was awarded Rs.
5,00,000/- for his violations of his legal rights.

CASSIDY VS DAILY MIRROR NEWSPAPER LTD.12

Mr. Cassidy who was also known as Mr. Corrigan was married to Mrs. Cassidy
also known as Mrs. Corrigan. She was known as the legal wife of Mr. Cassidy to all
their acquaintances although they were married they did not live together and Mr.
Cassidy sometimes visited her in her flat. The defendants published a photograph of
Mr. Corrigan with Miss X with the following words underneath “Mr. Corrigan the
famous race horse owner and Miss X have announced their engagement. Mrs.
Corrigan sued the defendants for libel alleging that the innuendo was that they were
not married and she was staying in a immoral cohabitation with Mr. Corrigan.
Some of her female acquaintances also deposed in court that after they had read the
newspaper had formed bad opinion about her. The jury found that the words
conveyed were defamatory and awarded damages for the same of 500 Pounds.

R.K. KARANJIA VS THACKERSEY13

In its issue of September 24th 1960, an article was published in blitz an English
weekly making attack against ‘The house of Thackersey’ a business organisation
that constituted of the plaintiff, his brothers, their wives and some of their close
friends. The aim of the article was to suggest that how the plaintiff who was the
Chairman of the Textile Control board had exploited his position in amassing

12
(1929) 2K.B.331

13
A.I.R 1970 Bom. 424.
enormous amount of wealth recourse to unlawful and questionable means tax
evasion at an enormos scale, financial jugglery, import - export rackets by
obtaining licenses in the names of many bogus companies.
The plaintiff brought an action R.K. Karanjia the editor of the Blitz weekly, the
owner of the newspapers, the printer and the person who furnished the information
for the same.
The printer tendered an apology and was accepted by the plaintiff and was
exonerated of the charges. At the trial court all the defences were pleaded but none
of them were accepted by the Court and the a decree was passed imposing a
liability of Rs.3,000,00/- on the defendants. It was held that the defendant had
grossly defamed the plaintiff and also an injunction was passed forbidding the
publication of similar articles intended to be published.
Against the decision, the defendants appealed in the High Court. The only defence
pleaded was that of Qualified Privilege but the court held that the element of
‘Communicating it to the public was missing’. It was held that the mere fact was of
General public interest is not enough the person who wants to publish it to the
general public should also have a duty to communicate the same to the general
public. Another reason for rejecting the defence of qualified privilege was that the
article was made maliciously, and the same was never done for the interests of the
general public because on an earlier occasion the plaintiff had made the publisher
apologise for publishing an article that was defamatory to the plaintiff, However the
High Court allowed the appeal in part and reduced the sum from Rs. 3,00,000/- to
Rs. 1,50,000/-
.
INJUNCTIONS
It is well settled that monetary damages are the primary remedies available to a
plaintiff in a defamation action .It is just as clear, however that for many plaintiffs
and would be plaintiffs, damages really are no remedy at all, Indeed, ther eis a long
line of commentary dating back to 19th century in which scholars and lawyers
questions the adequacy of money as compensation for harm to reputation.
As the prominent American law professor Robert leflar commented more than 50
years ago
The inescapable fact is that the Anglo American genius for Justicehas not yet
produced a generally available remedy for defamation that will give aggrieved
persons the vindication they deserve. The substituted relief for damages in torts is
usually the remedy which our law affords, and that often, for social and
psychological reasons, is a remedy available only theoretically, not actually,
Indeed, it might fairly be said that many prospective ibel plaintiffs would be
content to only silence the defamer, even if it meant foregoing damages. And
almost all would, if it were possible turn back the clock so that they could takwe
legal steps to ensure that the offending words were never published, In short, most
plaintiffs would injunction over damages.
The preference makes sense when one considers the practical consequences of
pursuing an action, the plaintiff may bring broader attention to the defamatory
allegations, possibly aggravating the harm to his reputation. He then faces the
ordeal of discovery and further engagement with his tormentor, Defamation trials
are generally long and expensive may, in some cases draw still more attention to
the words at issue. If the plaintiff wins his primary vindication will be contained in
a judgement that few of the legal community will read, and while money might be
nice, there is a good chance that damages and costs awarded by the court even be
recoverable will not exceed the expense of pursuing the remedy.
Where a claimant has brought successful defamation proceedings against a
defendant he may easily obtain an injunction to prevent any further publication of
the defamatory statement.

However, a claimant may also wish to seek to obtain an injunction against an


alleged defamer before proceedings have begun. In Bonnard v Perryman (1891) 2
Ch 269 the court held that whilst it had jurisdiction to prevent or restrain
publication by the use of an interloctury injunction this jurisdiction was strictly
discretionary and only to be used in cases where, if a jury were to find the words
complained of not defamatory, that verdict would be set aside as unreasonable and
where, although the defendant swears he has a plea of justification, the Court can
be totally sure that it would fail. An injunction was not granted on the facts of the
case and the court added that it would only be granted in the most 'exceptional
cases', the court would not interfere and wished to leave the relevant matters to the
jury.

Lord Denning explained the rationale of this rule in Fraser v Evans [1969] 1 QB
349 and applied and expanded it a little in Harakas and others v Baltic Merchantile
and Shipping Exchange Ltd and another [1982] 1 WLR 958.

There is an exception to the rule in Bonnard v Perryman provided by A-G v News


Group Newspapers Ltd [1987] QB 1 whereby an injunction shall be granted if the
conditions of the Contempt of Court Act, 1981 are fulfilled. In that case an
injunction was obtained against the News of the World to prevent it from
publishing several allegations. The claimant had already issued defamation
proceedings against the News of the World for allegations published in earlier
editions. The statements to be published had been published by the Mail on Sunday,
against whom the claimant also had an injunction, although the News of the World
claimed that its information was from independent investigations.

In cases where a libel is threatened by the defendant the claimant may obtain a quia
timet injunction following the decision in British Data Management plc v Boxer
Commercial Removal plc and another [1996] 3 All ER 707. The claimant must be
able to show to the court with certainty the gist of the threatened libel, a verbatim
record is not necessary.
A preliminary injunction on the other hand has immediate effect. The harm is
limited and the defamer put in his place. The silence is golden.
There is one small difficulty, with injunctions and that is it is easier to get in
countries like Canada but in countries like America it is very tough to impose a
injunction.

The rule in Bonnard v. Perryman14

Ratio: Although the courts possessed a jurisdiction, ‘in all but exceptional cases’,
they should not issue an interlocutory injunction to restrain the publication of a libel
which the defence sought to justify except where it was clear that that defence
would fail. Where the defendant contends that the words complained of are true and
swears that he will plead and seek to prove the defence of justification, the court
should not grant an interlocutory injunction unless, exceptionally, it is satisfied that
the defence is one which cannot succeed. The plaintiff must demonstrate that ‘it is
clear that (the) alleged libel is untrue.’
Lord Coleridge CJ said that there was a particular need not to restrict the right of
free speech in libel cases by interfering before the final determination of the matter
by a jury otherwise than in a clear case of an untrue libel, saying: ‘But it is obvious
that the subject-matter of an action for defamation is so special as to require
exceptional caution in exercising the jurisdiction to interfere by injunction before
the trial of an action to prevent an anticipated wrong. The right of free speech is one
which it is for the public interest that individuals should possess, and, indeed, that
14
CA 2 JAN 1891
they should exercise without impediment, so long as no wrongful act is done; and,
unless an alleged libel is untrue, there is no wrong committed; but, on the contrary,
often a very wholesome act is performed in the publication and repetition of an
alleged libel. Until it is clear that an alleged libel is untrue, it is not clear that any
right at all has been infringed; and the importance of leaving free speech unfettered
is a strong reason in cases of libel for dealing most cautiously and warily with the
granting of interim injunctions.
In the particular case before us, indeed, the libellous character of the publication is
beyond dispute, but the effect of it upon the Defendant can be finally disposed of
only by a jury, and we cannot feel sure that the defence of justification is one
which, on the facts which may be before them, the jury may find to be wholly
unfounded; nor can we tell what may be the damages recoverable.’
English libel counsel has made frequent to avoid the high bar set by the ruke in
Bonnard, Recently both celebrities and high profile companies have sought and
obtained injunctions by claiming that the stories would violate the right to privacy
guaranteed by European human rights law or that publication would result into a
breach of confidence. These injunctions are known as super injunctions as they not
only conceals the facts of the matter but also conceal about existence of such an
injunction.
It was further set forth by the court of law that it has the power to issue an
injunction in the landmark of William Coulson and sons. V James Coulson and co.

William Coulson and sons. Vs James Coulson and co.15

Ratio: Lord Esher MR said: ‘It could not be denied that the court had jurisdiction to
grant an interim injunction before trial. It was, however, a most delicate jurisdiction
to exercise, because, though Fox’s Act only applied to indictments and information
for libel, the practice under that Act had been followed in civil actions for libel, that
the question of libel or no libel was for the jury. It was for the jury and not for the
Court to construe the document and to say whether it was a libel or not. To justify
the Court in granting an interim injunction it must come to a decision upon the
question of libel or no libel before the jury decided whether it was a libel or not.
Therefore, the jurisdiction was of a delicate nature. It ought only to be exercised in
the clearest cases, where any jury would say that the matter complained of was
libellous, and where, if the jury did not so find, the Court would set aside the
15
(1887) 3 TLR 846
verdict as unreasonable. The Court must also be satisfied that in all probability the
alleged libel was untrue, and if written on a privileged occasion that there was
malice on the part of the defendant. It followed from those three rules that the Court
could only on the rarest occasions exercise the jurisdiction.’
Lindley LJ ‘agreed with the rules laid down by the Master of the Rolls, and he was
not prepared to say that the jury might not find that this was no libel, or that the
alleged libel was true. The injunction, therefore, ought not to have been granted.
Both the Judge at Chambers and the Divisional Court had suggested a form of
circular; but it was no part of a Judge’s duty to do so, except for the purposes of
putting an end to litigation, and the Court ought not to settle a draft form of what
might turn out to be a libel.’

INTERIM INJUNCTIONS

In Canada the rule in Bonnard remains the standard for granting interim
injunctions. In seeking to strike a balance between the potential harm that may
accrue to the plaintiff should the defendant be permitted to continue to publish his
or her remarks against a defendants’s right to freedom of expression, the court will
generally favour the latter.
In Compass group Canada Ltd. vs. Hospital employees16 union Madam Justice
Garson affirmed the injunctive relief to restrain alleged defamation is an
exceptional remedy granted in only “rarest and cleanest of cases”. The burden lay
with the plaintiff to demonstrate that the material complained of is so ‘manifestly
defamatory that any jury verdict to the considered perverse by the court of law’. In
addition evidence alleged would continue was necessary.
The high standard has been applied in numerous other British Columbia cases,
including Seafares’ international union of Canada vs International longshore and
warehouse union Canada, Friesen vs chair and Interior Health authority vs Sellin.

PERMANENT INJUNCTIONS

16
While the availability of permanent injunctions remains a subject of controversy in
the U.S.A where defamation law has a heightened constitutional aspect, they are a
well- established remedy in Canada
.
CASE LAWS

Prameela ravindran vs P. lakshmikutty amma17

According to the facts of the case the marriage between the applicant(Prameela
ravindran) and the deceased was disputed by the respondent(P. lakshmikutty amma)
Who was the mother of the deceased. The plaintiff contended that she was the wife
of the deceased. She produced a marriage certificate issued by the temple
authorities showing the fact of marriage between Prameela and Ravindran. She also
produced an agreement of marriage between the parties, and also the L.I.C policy
which clearly showed that she was the wife of the deceased. All the evidences that
were put forth proved that shwe was the wife of the deceased.
The respondent who disputed the marriage had been setting letters to various
persons relating to the marital status of the plaintiff.
Such letters were deemed to be defamatory and she was restrained from carrying
on such actions.
Beidas vs. Pichler18
A majority of the divisional courts held that an order to remove all the references to
the plaintiffs and prohibiting the posting of any materials which may tend to
identify that the plaintiff was too broad in its scope because it captured non-
defamatory speech. In containing that the order was an unwarranted restraint on the
defendant’s expression, Justice Murray held that the breadth of the order could not
be justified simply because the internet was involved. While the interner poses
serious questions, it should not be any less free of expression than any other media.

Canadian National Railway co. vs. Google Inc


This case concerned a blog hosted in which unknown authors made a wide variety
of allegations regarding the CN Railway’s business practices, safety and honesty of

17
A.I.R 2001 Mad. 225.

18
(220) O.J.No. 3684
its executives. After attempts to identify the author proved fruitless, a motion was
brought to force Google to remove the site, which it did not oppose should the court
orders it done. No one appeared on the behalf of the creators, but it was clear from
their postings that they were aware of the the proceedings. Justice Lederer had no
trouble concluding the facts that the statements were defamatopry, espescially in
the light of the fact that the creators did not file a reponse and showed no intentions
to justify their statements. He ordered the website taken down until a determination
of the issue could be made on its merits.

Astley vs Verdun19

In Astley vs Verdun the defendant was found by the jury to have engaged in a
deliberate concerted and a relentless campaign over a number of years to injure the
reputation of the plaintiff. The evidence showed that the plaintiff to be a remarkable
plaintiff with high ethical and moral standards who was targeted by the defendant
for the alleged destruction of his insurance company of which he was previously
the CEO. The defendant voiced slanderous at several annual meetings, wrote
letters, published a book defaming the plaintiff and posted similar statements on his
blog. He refused to stop and vowed to continue to discredit the reputation of the
plaintiff despite the jury rejecting outright any of his defences. It was clear that the
defendant met the first situation warranting a permanent injunction. He was ordered
to cease all postings on the internet or publishing any matter whatsoever, directly or
indirectly, any statements or comments about the plaintiff.

RETRACTIONS

Press Complaints and the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) replaced the Press


Complaints Commission after that organisation closed on 8 September 2014. If
anyone has a problem with the ethics or behaviour of a newspaper or magazine
which is a member of the IPSO then they can lodge a complaint with them. It will
investigate when there is a possible breach of its Code of Practice. If it finds that

19
2001 ONSC 3651
the code has been breached, it can order the publication of its adjudication and/or a
correction.

Most, but not all, national newspapers have signed up to be regulated by the
Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). The list includes The Daily
Mirror, the Daily Express, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Daily
Mail, and The Sun. The list does not include The Guardian or The Independent.
Participating publications have signed up to the . The Code seeks to impose a
minimum standard of conduct on the participating publications. These standards
cover the following aspects of publication and news-gathering:
 Accuracy
 Privacy
 Harassment
 Intrusion into grief or shock
 Reporting Suicide
 Children
 Children in sex cases
 Hospitals
 Reporting of Crime
 Clandestine devices and subterfuge
 Victims of sexual assault
 Discrimination
 Financial journalism
 Confidential sources
 Witness payments in criminal trials
 Payments to criminals

Breaches of the code


If a participating publication breaches the Code then a complaint can be made to
IPSO. Complaints must normally be made within four months of the publication or
conduct complained of. This deadline may be extended where material remains
accessible on a newspaper’s website.
Mediation or Adjudication
If appropriate, IPSO may seek to mediate a claim in the hope that the parties can
agree an informal resolution (e.g. an agreed correction, clarification or apology or
the removal of content). If this is not possible then the matter will be adjudicated
on by IPSO’s Complaints Committee. The Committee will determine whether there
has been a breach of the Code. It will publish its decision on its website setting out
whether the Editors’ Code has been breached, and why. It may also require the
publication to publish a copy of its findings in a manner determined by the
Committee.
IPSO aims to process the majority of complaints within 90 days.