Whether an Advocate, while acting under the instructions of his client and proceeding professionally, can be prosecuted / punished for the offence of defamation punishable under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code is the precise question involved in this petition which came before High Court of Chhattisgarh.
From Para 10,
10. It appears from the aforesaid genealogical tree that respondent No.2 herein has been shown to be the concubine / wife of Ghanshyam Pandey. This, according to respondent No.2, is defamatory, as she is the legally married wife of Ghanshyam Pandey after the death of his first wife Smt. Tarini Pandey and that led to the present dispute.
From Para 24,
24. In light of above-stated legal analysis, an advocate, who acted professionally as per instructions of his/her client, cannot be made criminally liable for the offence of defamation under Section 500 of the IPC unless contrary is alleged and established.
From Para 26,
As such, an Advocate who has acted professionally and drafted plaint making averment as per the instructions of his client, cannot be held liable for the offence of defamation under Section 500 of the IPC.
Finally from Para 33,
Arun Thakur Vs State of Chhattisgarh on 10 July 2019
33. Admittedly, respondent No.2 claims that the alleged incident happened in the year 2014 and after lapse of 3-4 years, FIR has been lodged which clearly goes to show that there was no intention of the petitioner to cause harm, as in such a case, she would have rushed to the police authority well in time. As such, even it cannot be held that the petitioner has abused and insulted respondent No.2 in terms of Section 506 of the IPC.