No Intention To Harm Reputation: Calcutta High Court Quashes Defamation Case Against Reporter & Editor Of A Bengali Daily
Case: Samik Ghosh & Ors. v. State of West Bengal & Anr.
Coram: Justice Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury
Case No.: CRR 3280 of 2006
Court Observation: “It is trite to say that to constitute an offence within the meaning of Section 499 of the I.P.C. there has to be imputation which is the basic requirement and such imputation shall have to be made in the manner as provided in the provision with the intention of causing harm or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of the person about whom it is made. Causing harm to the imputation of a person is the basis on which this offence of defamation is founded and like every criminal proceeding mens rea is a condition precedent to constitute such offence”
“The criminal offence, it goes without saying emphasis on the intention of harm. Section 44 of the Indian Penal Code defines injury and it denotes any harm whatever illegally caused any person in body, mind, reputation or property. In the absence of any ingredient prima facie to show the mens rea of the accused persons to have the intention, knowledge or reason to believe that the report published in the daily newspaper, an offence within the meaning of Section 499 of the I.P.C. cannot be said to have been made out”