Criminal defamation law not unconstitutional: SC

New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the constitutional validity of the criminal defamation law in the country, saying it was not in conflict with the freedom of speech.

The apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant, while upholding the relevant sections of the Criminal Procedure Code, notably Section 499 and Section 500, said defamation doesn’t have any “chilling effect on freedom of speech”.

“It is not necessary for all in the chorus to sing the same song,” Justice Misra said, pronouncing the judgment.

A magistrate should be extremely careful in issuing summons on a plea for the initiation of any criminal defamation case, he said.

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