In its latest report, the Law Commission has advocated for the retention of criminal defamation within the framework of criminal laws in India. Emphasizing that the right to reputation is derived from Article 21 of the Constitution and is an integral aspect of the right to life and personal liberty, the commission stressed the necessity to “adequately protect” it against defamatory speech and imputations.
“Reputation is something which can’t be seen and can only be earned. It’s an asset which is built in a lifetime and destroyed in seconds,” it said. The whole jurisprudence around the law on criminal defamation has the essence of protecting one’s reputation and its facets, the commission added.
Law Commission on people damaging public property
Meanwhile, the Law Commission is also likely to recommend that people involved in damaging public property get bail only after depositing money equivalent to the loss caused by them. Recommending changes in the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, the law panel is likely to propose stringent bail provisions for those involved in damaging public property, it is learnt. There was a feeling that if people involved in damaging public property pay the amount equivalent to the value of the asset destroyed, it would deter others from resorting to such actions.
In 2015, the government had proposed amending the law but a bill could not be brought. The commission had undertaken the project on the subject against the backdrop of certain Supreme Court directions and judgements by some high courts. The law panel is also reportedly working on a report on the criminal defamation law and may recommend no changes to it.
(With PTI inputs)