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Apar Gupta: Legislative intervention needed in defamation

Make the civil law of defamation clear, effective and balanced and repeal the criminal remedy that exists today only to coerce than to convict

Apar Gupta

Any concept of rights comes with limits. When the Constitution of India recognises the freedom of speech and expression it does so while prescribing restrictions. In similar measure, while restrictions allow Parliament to make law, they have to be reasonable. While most people agree and accept this formulation, they also frequently debate their extent. It is a lack of clarity on this that often leads to constitutional challenges on laws that restrict speech. One recent illustration is the case concerning criminal defamation that is contained under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code ...