Sexual Harassment & Law of Defamation: The First Refuge of the Powerful

  • Kumar Abhishek
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  • Kumar Abhishek

    Student at Amity Law School, Amity University, Patna, India

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Claim of sexual harassment & counter-claim of defamation has become common these days, especially under the #metoo movement. It is quite usual to see civil or criminal or both defamation suits filed by the accused against the complainant, in order to deter the complainant from proceeding further in her/his complainant. Whether it is M.J. Akbar’s criminal defamation complaint against Priya Ramani or Alok Nath’s criminal and civil defamation complaints against Vinta Nanda or Harvey Weinstein's defamation suit against the New York Times, the undue advantage of defamation law by the powerful public figures has clearly taken place. The purpose of defamation law is to deter and punish malicious lies, but it has become a tool to exhaust the resources of the complainant, thereby preventing the complainant to proceed further with his/her complaint. Classically, these Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and the abuse of legal remedies is often the reason behind why don’t the women speak up when the harassment happened. In this research paper, the first chapter will give a brief introduction about law of sexual harassment and defence of defamation. The second chapter with deal the object of defence of civil and criminal defamation, sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 will also be discussed. Third chapter will throw light upon India’s #metoo movement and the defence of defamation, where some cases and instances will be discussed. The fourth chapter will guide us through the global scenario of #metoo movement and the defence of defamation. Lastly, the concluding chapter will also contain suggestions on how to strike a balance between a claim of sexual harassment; counter-claim of defamation.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 3, Page 439 - 449


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